Cluff Geothermal has qualified for support of just over US$3.8 million from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF). This will be in the form of a non-refundable grant to support the company’s exploration drilling at its Fantale Geothermal Licence Area, in Ethiopia.
Mount Fantale, Oromia, Ethiopia
The Mount Fanatale project is Cluff Geothermal’s flagship project in Ethiopia, and is now nearing the end of its surface study phase. Once completed, the data from this first phase will enable the company to begin negotiating with Ethiopia’s state electricity provider, EEP, for a power purchase agreement (PPA). Exploration drilling will follow the signing of the PPA, as it is one of the conditions for GRMF funding.
The GRMF is funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), the German Government and the European Union. Geothermal energy is recognised as highly beneficial to the emerging economies of East Africa, and the GRMF looks to encourage its development by reducing early stage exploration risk. It does this by providing grants to geothermal projects within certain African countries for 80% of the eligible costs of surface studies and 40% of the first two exploration wells.
Cluff Geothermal’s Chief Financial Officer, Peter Dixon-Clarke, said: “Qualifying for GRMF funding provides the cornerstone for the funding of our exploratory drilling campaign at Fantale. Given the exhaustive due diligence undertaken by the GRMF’s technical advisers, it is also a validation of our progress as a geothermal catalyst and developer. We look forward to moving beyond the surface studies phase and negotiating a power purchase agreement with the Ethiopian Government.”
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