REPP supports geothermal project in Zambia
US$3.2m loan from REPP to finance up to three new exploratory wells in ambitious project to build Zambia’s first commercial geothermal power plant
Ground-breaking plans to build Zambia’s first commercial geothermal plant are on track after REPP approved a convertible loan of up to US$3.2m to finance the drilling of three new exploratory slim wells.
Five of 18 earlier exploratory wells, financed by developer Kalahari GeoEnergy Ltd, have intersected a near-surface aquifer with temperatures of more than 100°C. REPP’s loan will now enable the next phase of drilling to target this shallow aquifer, which is fed from a deeper ~150°C resource.
The slim wells will enable the collation of additional data for reservoir modelling, which will be used in pre-feasibility and feasibility studies to support the development of the 15MW power plant.
Under the agreement, an initial loan tranche of US$2.2m will be dispersed to fund the first two slim wells, with a further US$1m being made available subject to either of these wells demonstrating deep reservoir temperatures of at least 130°C.
Although geothermal power generation in Africa is focused on the Great Rift Valley in Kenya and Ethiopia, explorations have suggested that Kafue Trough in Zambia’s Southern Province is also suitable for the technology.
Adding geothermal to Zambia’s energy mix would allow for a renewable source of baseload capacity, and have a potentially transformative impact on the region by facilitating the expansion of geothermal energy generation both nationally and regionally.