The Menengai Project Kenya: Pioneering Geothermal Development in East Africa

Share |


In a country where 84% of the population does not have energy access and where the geothermal potential is among the greatest in the world, the Menengai geothermal steam field development project will exploit a portion of this potential to provide power to about 500,000 households and 300,000 businesses. The project was approved in 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2016.

Leveraging public and private investment

The project is co-financed by ADF (UA 80 million), the Climate Investment Funds – hosted by the AfDB Group – (UA 16 million), the French Development Agency (UA 46 million), the European Investment Bank (UA 24 million), and the Government of Kenya (UA 158 million).

The AfDB Group has led the development of the project since 2010, which included assisting the Geothermal Development Company (a corporation wholly-owned by the Government of Kenya) to build a bankable financial model for the project, and catalyzing financing from other DFIs and the Climate Investment Funds. The Bank Group’s intervention helps address the drilling risk that the private sector is hesitant to assume and lays the ground for private sector involvement in power generation.

Boosting geothermal development in East Africa

The AfDB Group is currently working with Djibouti on the development of a 50 MW power plant in the Lake Assal region. In Ethiopia, the AfDB Group is playing a leading role in defining a geothermal development roadmap. In Tanzania, the Bank Group is leading the development of the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program, which will include the financing of a geothermal development project. In the Comoros, the AfDB Group is working to develop a 20 MW geothermal plant, matching the needs of the archipelago.