In January this year, the government of Iceland signed a bilateral agreement with Ethiopia over the matter of geothermal explorations in Africa. As a result of the agreement, a group of experts from Iceland will be conducting a geothermal survey in the rift valley region, according to reports in the Addis Fortune.
Ambassador Svavar Gestsson, especial envoy to the ministry of foreign affairs for Ethiopia said that the study would make clearer the exact nature of the country’s geothermal potential. “Ethiopia has an estimated potential of 1000mw of power from geothermal energy located in the rift region,” he said.
The ambassador added that the details of a preliminary agreement are likely to be finalised within the month.
The Ethiopian Geological Survey revealed that geothermal possibilities are likely in the Afar, in the Fentale and Aluto Langano areas of the rift region.
“If the project starts as scheduled, it would be completed in three years as the country is using a fast-track approach,” said Alemayehu Tegenu minister of Mines and Energy (MoME).
The fast track approach involves working around the clock 24-hours a day rather than the regular eight hour working day.
Iceland will be lending technical assistance to the Ethiopian project. According to Tegenu, Iceland will be assisting with the maintenance of obsolete drilling plants. Before any work begins, however, a feasibility study must be conducted.