Geothermal Uses In Africa


The main geothermal resources in Africa are associated with the Great Rift valley that intersects the eastern part of Africa from the Red sea through Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia. The western part of African rift passes through Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The other low temperature resources are found in the northern part of Africa in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria and are associated with sedimentary basins.


Geothermal hot water has been used in northern Africa for many years for bathing in hammams. In more recent years, hot water in Tunisia and Algeria and Egypt is used to heat green houses at night for growing tomatoes and water mellons. Tunisia currently has about 140 ha of greenhouses heating using geothermal water.

Kenya originally used geothermal to dry pyrethreum in Eburru. More recently, Oserian Developement company is heating 50 ha for growing roses in green houses. The green houses are heated at night to prevent humidity exceeding 85 percent and therefore prevent certain diseases attaching the flowers. Carbon dioxide from geothermal wells is also added.


Geothermal water can also be used for recreation purposes.  Hot springs can be used directly to supply a swimming pool or used traditionally in hammams. The separated brine is also a good source of hot water that can be used in spas, saunas and steam baths in hotels.  KenGen constructed a hot water swimming pool facility that has a conference hall and a restaurant which started operating in 2013 and is planning to carry out a feasibility study in order to invest in tourism around geothermal resource.

Olkaria Spa


The following power is generated from geothermal in Kenya and Ethiopia:

 Plant NameInstalled Capacity (MW)Effective Capacity (MW)
1.Olkaria I4545
2.Olkaria II105105
3.Olkaria III139139
4.Oserian 3061.81.8
5.Oserian 2021.421.4
6.Eburru Wellhead2.42.3
7.Olkaria Wellhead I54.8
8.Olkaria Wellhead II1211
9.Olkaria Wellhead III2826
10.Olkaria Wellhead IV&V109.6
11.Olkaria Wellhead VI-X2524
12.Olkaria IV (2x 70MW)140140
13.Olkaria I units 4&5(2x70MW)140140
Total Kenya654.6649.9
1Aluto Langano7.35.3
Total Africa661.9655.2