The United States of America, through its International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), has committed USD 1.55 million (equivalent to some 54 million birr) in technical development for the Tulu Moye Geothermal Power Plant Project in Ethiopia.
This new grant will enable project development and accelerate the schedule to design the 50-megawatt geothermal power plant, the US Embassy in Addis Ababa said in a statement sent to The Reporter.
When completed, the project will be the first independent power project to generate power on a commercial scale and one of the largest geothermal power plants in Ethiopia, a country with substantial untapped geothermal resources that can provide significant base-load power.
An Ethiopian company, TM Geothermal Operations PLC (TMGO), is developing the Tulu Moye project, which is approximately 100 km Southeast of Addis Ababa.
According to the statement, DFC’s technical development will provide funding for up to USD 1.55 million to support detailed design works for the new power plant at an earlier stage in the project development process, enabling the Tulu Moye geothermal plant to deliver the first 50 megawatts of electricity to the Ethiopian power grid more quickly.
After the development is completed, DFC will evaluate additional financing for the implementation phase.
DFC’s technical development builds upon this recent progress and longer-term US government support for the nation’s power sector, including by Power Africa, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Trade and Development Agency, and the US Department of the Treasury, the statement added.
TMGO was established in December 2017. The company signed the Power Purchase Agreement and the Implementation Agreement with the Ethiopia Electric Power and the Government of Ethiopia in 2017 and restated documentation in March 2019, making it one of the first independent power projects in Ethiopia.
The Tulu Moye geothermal prospect site is situated Northwest of Asela. It is a wide zone where tectonic and volcanic activities are concentrated.
The Tulu Moye geothermal prospect is located about 100 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa in Oromia Regional State, with Lake Koka to the North and Lake Ziway to the South.