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GDC eyes additional revenue from Menengai steam fields

The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is looking to diversify its revenue streams through the sale of steam to industries that rely on power to fuel their heating processes.

GDC Managing Director Paul Ngugi has affirmed that by funneling steam from its fields on the Menengai Crater floor, the state agency can cut client production costs while improving the country’s green credentials.

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The firm has challenged enterprises to leverage on geothermal steam to cut on the cost of electricity used in production.

“Tariffs from geothermal are as low Ksh 5 per Kilowatt, we are cushioning the consumer against high bills. Geothermal generation accounts for 48pc of power that goes to the national grid. GDC currently yields 35 Megawatts while Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) owned Olkaria wells in Naivasha pump at least 320 Megawatts to the national grid,” said Ngugi.

This comes as GDC signed a 25-year deal with cement manufacturer Karsan Ramji and Sons Limited for the offtake of 40 tons per hour of geothermal steam to be used in power generation and brine which will be used in the drying process.

“Clean smart activities and renewable energy shifts are potential solutions to extreme climate conditions. To address climate change requires a fundamental cultural shift among local communities,” said Kishor Varsani, Karsan Ramji Sons Limited Chief Executive Officer.

Geothermal energy is versatile and prolific and apart from its uses in the generation of electricity, geothermal can also be used in heating greenhouses, milk pasteurization, laundry, leisure and recreation, among many other uses.

GDC estimates that Kenya could save up to $1 trillion by using green energy sources instead of diesel in the generation of power.

Sally Namuye
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Allan Aoko
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