Govt starts process to generate 1,500MW geothermal energy

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The government has awarded a contract worth Shs2.3 billion to Royal Techno Industries Ltd to embark on developing and exploiting the thermal energy plants in Hoima and Nebbi districts.

Geothermal energy is generated from underground heat that is manifested through hot springs.

Under the exploration programme, the company will drill 16 temperature gradient holes in Kibiro, Hoima District and in Panyimur, Nebbi District.

According to Vincent Kato, the coordinator of thermal energy in the Energy ministry, drilling will start in January 2020.

“The exercise will take about two months. Holes with the highest temperature gradient will help site deep exploration wells,” he said.

Kato revealed that the project is jointly funded by the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility of the African Union Commission.

He added that in the next two years, geothermal energy will be ready for use.

“We are planning to use well-head technology to generate megawatts as we prepare to construct power plants,” Kato said.

Koti Reddy, the managing director of Royal Techno Industries, said that they will apply the down-the-hole drill and mud rotary drilling methods.

He appealed to government to sensitise residents about the benefits of the project to avoid hostility.

Kato said that the steam from the Geothermal plants will also be used to heat the crude oil pipeline, fish drying and other uses.

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