A delegation from Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) toured the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) Menengai Geothermal Project on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, on a benchmarking mission. They were accompanied by officers from Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
The ERA team had a chance to engage GDC experts drawn from various professions including Project Management, Geothermal Centre of Excellence (GCE), Direct Use, Drilling Operations, Geothermal Resource Assessment and Geothermal Resource Management. They made various stop-overs in the project including GDC’s Menengai Well 12 (MW-12), the steam gathering system (SGS), the Direct Use (DU) pilot project and the GDC drilling simulator.
Mr. Rodger Abigaba, a representative from ERA, expressed excitement at the level of progress that GDC has achieved in the development of the project, saying the visit has enabled ERA to get valuable insights that will help them in harnessing geothermal resources in Uganda.
“We are excited at the level of progress that GDC has achieved in the development of the Menengai Geothermal Project. When you look at geothermal energy exploration, steam development, Direct Use applications and human capacity development, you realise that we can learn a lot to facilitate the advancement of geothermal development in Uganda.”
Dr Thecla Mutia, a GDC Senior Scientist attached to the Geothermal Centre of Excellence, said that the visit provided an avenue for GDC to highlight its know-how and expertise in geothermal development, especially in Direct Use, as well as the capacity building programmes offered by GDC.
“The delegation was very keen and inquisitive,” noted Dr Mutia. “They were interested in understanding how GDC managed to set up and develop the project.”
The benchmarking exercise comes at a time when Uganda is working to develop its geothermal resources as it seeks a baseload energy source to power its economy. GDC, through GCE, has in the past trained Ugandan energy professionals on various geothermal related programs, in line with its commitment to increase Africa’s pool of geothermal experts.