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Tanzania Wins Funding That Will De-Risk Geothermal Exploration in Region

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) today said that Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has approved US$21.7 million for the United Republic of Tanzania to finance its geothermal energy development project, a move that will help mitigate the high-risk nature of geothermal prospection and field development in the region.

The project will develop the Ngozi geothermal steam field in southwestern Tanzania and showcase the technology’s broader potential in the country’s energy transformation.

The project is funded under the CIF’s Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program and will receive US$5 million as a loan and US$16.73 million in grant resources to be implemented by AfDB.

According to AfDB, Tanzania has committed to transforming its energy sector through a more diversified mix of technologies tapping into its renewable resources. The country has about 15 geothermal sites with an untapped estimated potential of 650 MW, with one-sixth of that potential development located in the Ngozi site.

“Today, we are assisting in the first step in the transformation of Tanzania’s energy sector, a transformation that is being built on a sustainable energy source,” said Leandro Azevedo, AfDB’s senior climate finance officer and CIF Coordinator. “Developing geothermal capacity in Tanzania is an essential part of that transformation and we hope that this project’s success will lead downstream to the installation of a 100 MW power plant and help create the conditions for the development of other geothermal sites in the country.”

The project involves conducting exploratory test drilling and installing the required steam gathering infrastructure in the Ngozi geothermal site, AfDB said.

Lead image: Lake Ngozi. Credit: Joachim Huber | CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia Commons

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