AUC signs grant contract with Akiira Geothermal Limited for Akiira geothermal prospect

AUC signs grant contract with Akiira Geothermal Limited for Akiira geothermal prospect

Nairobi, Kenya, 2nd March 2016: The African Union Commission (AUC), through its’ Department of Infrastructure and Energy, and Akiira Geothermal Limited signed a Grant Contract for financial support – totaling USD 1,373,877, to conduct Drilling programme activities and infrastructure upgrades at the Akiira geothermal prospect located in Kenya. The Grant Contract was signed by the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim, and the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Robert Kenneth Bunyi, on behalf of Akiira Geothermal Limited, at the Mayfair Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya on 2nd March 2016.

In his welcoming remarks, the representative of Akiira Geothermal Limited investors, Dr Chris J. Kirubi, Chairman of CENTUM, stated that investors took high risk in investing in green field exploration activities and should be supported by the Government of Kenya, AUC and development partners. He thanked AUC for its substantive financial support and requested AUC to provide to Akiira a continuation premium to drill a third well as the first two were completed successfully.

In her statement, the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim, congratulated Akiira Geothermal Limited to be the first drilling project develpper among the ones awarded grant in first and second application rounds to complete its exploration drilling wells even before signing the grant contract, which shows the seriousness of Akiira stakeholders behind the project and the ability to deliver in near future state of the art geothermal power energy for the people of kenya.

Dr.Eng. Joseph k. Njoroge, Principal Secretary representing the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, announced that the electricity generated from geothermal energy currently represents 50% of the total electricity generated in Kenya, and as , the tariff of electricity dropped by 25% to 30% for consumers due to increase share of the geothermal in the country energy mix. Dr. Eng. Njoroge assured the government support to all private geothermal developers including Akiira geothermal limited. He also expressed its gratitude to AUC for its financial support to many geothermal projects in Kenya through the GRMF.

The AUC Commissioner and director for Infrastructure and Energy and the AUC GRMF team also paid a site visit to Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) first and biggest geothermal power plant in Africa located in Olkaria, and to Akiira drilling site.

The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), funded by the German Government (BMZ), European Union (EU ITF) and the UK Government (DFID), focuses on providing financial support in form of grants to surface studies as well as to exploration drilling and testing programmes to beneficiaries from 11 eligible countries along the Eastern African Rift System whose projects qualify in application process.

The GRMF achieved significant results in supporting the geothermal development by awarding grant to four projects in the 1st application round in Kenya and Ethiopia in 2013 with total amount of USD 17 million.

In the 2nd Application Round launched in October 2013, four grants were awarded to projects developpers in Kenya, Ethiopia and Comoros in 2014 with total amount of USD 9 million.

The 3rd application round was launched in October 2014 and resulted in awarded grants to seven projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros, Djibouti and Rwanda with total amount of USD 36 million.

For detailed information about the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) please visit the GRMF website: http://www.grmf-eastafrica.org/

For further information:

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Website: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia