GDC inks geothermal advisory deal with Malawi


Stephen Kangongo, an engineer at Geothermal Development Company (GDC) Paka Hills drilling site in Tiaty, Baringo County on August 4, 2023, explaining how a drilling rig operates. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NMG

The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has signed deals with Malawi to help unlock the southern African nation’s geothermal power.

In the partnership, GDC will provide geoscientific studies, support institutional framework development and advise on resource mobilisation to the Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco).

Studies conducted years ago showed that Malawi has an estimated 4,000 megawatts of geothermal energy that has yet to be tapped.

“This is an important milestone for our two entities as we seek energy solutions for Africa. GDC is honoured to be your partner of choice as you embark on this exciting journey of developing your geothermal resources,” GDC managing director Paul Ngugi said.

Malawi is betting on an estimated 21 spots in the southern region of Chitipa-Karonga to generate its maiden electricity from geothermal sources.

“It is a new beginning for Malawi. We are happy to collaborate with GDC as we seek to diversify our energy sources,” Egenco CEO William Liabunya said.

Mr Ngugi added that GDC has seven drilling rigs that are ready to be deployed in other countries. The firm has over the years been offering its technical expertise to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Comoros, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Malawi currently generates the biggest chunk of electricity from hydro sources in addition to biomass and fossil fuels.

Like most other African nations, Malawi is grappling with rising demand that has choked supplies, prompting the government to intensify efforts of tapping sources like geothermal.

The deal by GDC comes in the wake of other partnerships between KenGen and a host of African countries on geothermal power exploration and generation.

KenGen is currently exploring and drilling geothermal wells in Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Rwanda. The firm is also eyeing similar deals in neighbouring Tanzania.

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