Cluff Geothermal have successfully completed a major geophysical survey at their flagship Ethiopian geothermal energy project, at Mount Fantale, Oromia Region. The USD$1m magnetotelluric (MT) survey recorded data from 250 sites within Cluff’s Fantale Geothermal Licence Area. Once analysed, the data will help identify locations for the planned exploratory geothermal drilling programme. The survey was conducted with the close cooperation of the local community, and at times employed up to 50 local workers. Cluff Geothermal carefully managed the environmental impact of the survey work, which was minimal.
The surface survey works were significantly funded by a grant from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), a body supported by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), the German Government and the European Union.
An exploratory drilling campaign at Fantale intends to enable the phased development of geothermal power, culminating in full scale production drilling and electricity generation at the scale of hundreds of megawatts. This will make a substantive contribution to Ethiopia’s target of expanding their sustainable power generation capacity, in line with the Growth and Transformation Plan II.
The Fantale Geothermal Development Project will generate renewable electricity from geothermal energy, which will be fed into the Ethiopian national grid. Following the completion of the surface study works at Fantale, Cluff Geothermal will be in position to negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), the energy utility owned by the Ethiopian Government.
Cluff Geothermal’s Technical Director Professor Paul Younger said: “This is a major step forward for Cluff Geothermal in Ethiopia, and marks the completion of a crucial stage in the Fantale Geothermal Development Project. Ethiopia needs electricity, and their excellent geothermal resource provides an ideal sustainable, baseload solution. Cluff Geothermal is in an excellent position to develop this remarkable resource. The data are now being fully analysed and early indications are that a very promising geothermal reservoir is present at Fantale.”