Baringo’s geothermal potential targeted in drive for more power

The Geothermal Development Company plans to generate more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity in Baringo County as it continues to tap into the area’s rich energy potential.

GDC has identified Silale, Paka, Korossi/Chepchuk and areas around lakes Baringo and Bogoria as potential areas for geothermal development.

Speaking Thursday at the conclusion of the county’s investment forum officially titiled Baringo Entrepreneurship Expo Summit (BEES), Ms Ruth Musembi, GDC’s Corporate Communications Manager, said that by 2030, the county will have capacity to supply more than 20,000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

“Baringo County is endowed with massive energy resources which, if well tapped, can turn around the economy of the area. The county has the capacity to supply energy not only to the country but other countries as well,” said Ms Musembi.

The company was in the process of drilling more than 42 geothermal wells and the first phase of the project will start at the Bogoria-Silale Geothermal Block, which is expected to generate more than 200MW by 2016, she said.

Upon completion, the whole project will produce 24 tonnes of water every hour translating to 576,000 tonnes of water every day.

According to GDC, this will boost food security as it will lead to establishment of a mega-irrigation scheme in the area, which can reduce over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture and support the development of tourist resorts.

Out of the 5,000 megawatts of electricity which the government plans to generate by 2016 from various agencies, 810MW will be developed by GDC in Baringo (200MW), Menengai (460MW) and Suswa (150MW) respectively.

The county is also set to benefit from Sh45 billion solar power plant, which will soon be set up at Chesirimion in Tiaty Sub-County.

Tillman Global Holdings Company is partnering with Latitude Investment Company to put up the project, which will be completed in the next two years with the first phase generating 40 megawatts of power.

PEACE AND TRANQUILITY

Baringo County Senator Gideon Moi pledged to initiate legislation in the Senate, which if passed will see 25 per cent of revenue generated from resources at the county level go to communities where the resources are located.

“If the legislation is passed, 3,000 megawatts of electricity to be produced by GDC in Baringo County, for instance, will result in more than Sh8 to Sh10 billion revenue benefiting the county,” said Mr Moi, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy.

Area MPs Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central), Asman Kamama (Tiaty), William Cheptumo (Baringo North) and Grace Kiptui (women’s representative) assured investors that security has already been restored across the county.

“We are committed to ensuring that our warring communities co-exist peacefully. Without peace and tranquillity, we can only talk of investment in the abstract,” said Mr Kamama, the National Assembly’s Security Committee chairman.

Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi said that the county will continue offering an enabling environment for investments.

“Our county is rich in resources. I’m hopeful the two-day conference offered a great a great opportunity for investors to identify and take advantage of the potential Baringo County has to offer in diverse sectors,” said Mr Cheboi.

The two-day conference attracted more than 3,000 investors.

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