Ethiopia secures PPA worth $800 million for 150MW geothermal plant

Ethiopia has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) worth US$800 million with the developers of a 150 MW geothermal plant, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced yesterday.

The East African nation, which has the second largest population on the continent, has the second biggest electricity deficit in Africa according to the World Bank, with about two thirds of citizens lacking a connection to the grid.

“Geothermal enhances our energy security by providing constant output power to support industrialisation,” Ahmed said on Twitter, adding that it was the first PPA to reach such an advanced stage in the country.

The Tulu Moye Geothermal plant is expected to start generating 50MW of power when the first phase is completed in February 2023, rising to 150MW at full completion in 2025. Drilling of steam wells commenced last month.

Located in the Arsi Zone to the Southeast of capital city Addis Adaba, the plant is being developed by the Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations (TMGO), a holding company for Paris based investment firm Meridiam SAS and Icelandic firm Reykjavik Geothermal.

Ethiopia is hoping to emulate the success neighbouring Kenya has had in harnessing the energy source. Geothermal energy from the bed of the Rift Valley provides a significant portion of Kenya’s electricity.