Nov 20, 2017: Technical Assistance for GRMF: Appointment of Facility Manager for NZ-AGF

The New Zealand Government and the African Union Commission (AUC) are pleased to have appointed Mr Markos Melaku as Facility Manager to establish and implement the New Zealand-Africa Geothermal Facility (NZ-AGF).  Mr Melaku is a professional engineer with extensive public and private sector geothermal experience in Africa, South East Asia and New Zealand.  Mr Melaku will be located at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and play an integral leadership role to establish the Facility and identify opportunities to deploy New Zealand’s geothermal expertise in the region through the NZ-AGF.

The NZ AGF will provide responsive, flexible and timely geothermal technical assistance and capacity building within East African countries and, as appropriate, assist with funding applications to the existing Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), in order to help develop regional geothermal energy resources.  The facility – managed under the New Zealand Aid Programme – will have a budget of some $NZD10 million over the next five years. The overall goal of the NZ-AGF is to expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy in East African nations from geothermal energy resources.

The GRMF was established by the AUC in 2012 with the objective to encourage public and private investors to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in East Africa by providing cost sharing grants for surface studies and drilling confirmation wells. To date, the GRMF has achieved significant success in supporting geothermal energy development by awarding around USD 90 million in grants for 26 projects in Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. For details, please visit the GRMF website:

New Zealand’s Ambassador to the African Union, Mr. Bruce Shepherd, described New Zealand as having “world-class geothermal expertise that has been instrumental in geothermal projects around the globe.  New Zealand’s geothermal industry is recognized as an international centre of excellence and partner of choice.” He added “this new facility will reinforce relationships between New Zealand and East Africa established through geothermal collaboration more than 40 years ago”.

New Zealand is the fourth largest generator of geothermal power in the world, and geothermal contributed approximately 20% of the country’s electricity last year; the use of geothermal heat in industrial and agricultural processing has been important for many years and is receiving renewed attention.  New Zealand is keen to share this experience with East African countries where there is a growing focus on their geothermal potential.  

This Facility is implemented under the New Zealand and the African Union Commission Partnership Arrangement signed at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June, 2017.

Nov 5, 2017: Clarifications for low and medium enthalpy projects

Dear developers,

As discussed during the last GRMF workshop on 10 and 11 October 2017 in Nairobi, here are further clarifications regarding the evaluation of low and medium enthalpy projects within the GRMF.

In order to receive a positive evaluation result from GRMF it is important, for all developers, to deliver a good, coherent, application. The proposed items to be funded i.e. survey methods or wells, need to be appropriate for the described resource and supported with studies of the resource. In a surface study application, the developer should describe how the suggested studies support siting the first wells. In a drilling programme application, the developer should describe how he believes that sufficient temperature and fluid will be obtained and support their statements with studies. GRMF supports temperature gradient wells at surface study stage and both slim and full size exploration wells as drilling programs. The definition of different wells can be found in the term definition of the GRMF Developer Manual and the parameters for different kind of wells can be found in the AWC guideline document.

With regards to low-medium enthalpy systems: The key criteria for the evaluation are that the project is focusing on power generation and that the application proves the economic viability of the project, in the form of a coherent business plan. This can be underpinned e.g. by direct use opportunities and the description of positive examples in the respective country if they are available.

Summarized, we want to encourage all developers with low and medium enthalpy projects to consider the submission of an application, on the base of the clarifications given above. We look forward to receiving your eligible EoI before 12 December 2017, 16:00 hrs Ethiopian time.

The GRMF standard documents for the RfA stage, with adjustments in the application forms, will be provided on the GRMF webpage after the EoI stage.

Best regards

Your GRMF team

Nov 2, 2017: AUC Signing GRMF Grant Agreement with Olsuswa Energy in Kenya

On 10 October 2017, the AUC signed another GRMF grant contract for the Barrier surface study project of Olsuswa Energy Limited in Kenya. The agreement was signed by the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, and the Director of Olsuswa Energy Limited Mr. Mugwe Manga, in Nairobi, Kenya on 10 October 2017.

The total grant amounts to USD 980,000 and represents 80% of the total cost estimated to USD 1.6 million for the surface study, located at the Barrier volcanic complex as the northernmost geothermal prospect in Kenya.

Please find the related AUC press release here.

Your GRMF team


Oct 30, 2017: Evaluation workshop on the GRMF & Kick-off meeting of the 5th GRMF Application Round

Nairobi, Kenya 14 October 2017: The Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union organized an evaluation workshop on the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) operationalization and a kick-off meeting of the 5th GRMF Application Round, followed by field visits to geothermal projects, from 10th to 13th October 2017 in Kenya.

The evaluation workshop and a kick-off meeting of the 5th GRMF Application Round took place on the 10-11 October in Nairobi, while the field visits were organized on the 12th for Menengai drilling site (near Nakuru) and on 13th for Olkaria site (near Naivasha).

Seventy five (75) participants took part in the workshop including officials and experts from GRMF eligible countries (Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), representatives of the African Union Commission, Development Partners (KFW, DFID, BGR and New Zealand MFAT) and geothermal developers (public and private).

Please find here the related press release.

Your GRMF team


Oct 18, 2017: AUC Signing GRMF Grant Agreement with ODDEG in Djibouti

On 27 September 2017, the AUC signed another GRMF grant contract for the Arta surface study project of L’Office Djiboutien de Développement de l'Energie Géothermique (ODDEG) in Djibouti. The agreement was signed by H.E. Mr. Mohamed Hassan Abdillahi, Secretary General of the Government of Djibouti, and H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.

The total grant amounts to USD 959,687 and represents 80% of the total cost estimated to USD 1.2 million for the surface study located on a broad valley lying on the Gulf of Tadjoura approximately 30 km east of the Djibouti City.

Please find the related AUC press release here.

Your GRMF team