Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations (TMGO), a USD 800 million project, has started its drilling in Tulu Moye, located in Arsi Zone of Oromia Region. This is to be a long term project, due to be completed by 2025 and generate 150 MW, which will be added to the Ethiopian Electricity Grid base-load needs.
A self-described, “first independent energy company in Ethiopia,” the plan is to generate 50 MW on the completion of the first base by 2023 and 150 MW by 2025.
“There is to be huge benefits to the country as well as the community, including 400 employment opportunities and sustainable electricity,” Darrel Boyd, the head of the project told The Reporter. “We are to offer internship, as well as a three year apprenticeship to 40 young people from the community and have them work with us once they graduate.”
The project was started in 2017, when the Ethiopian Electric Power signed with TMGO, a Paris based shareholding Investment Company, Meridiam SAS and the Icelandic Geothermal Development Company Reykjavik Geothermal.
“For us, it is a major project and it is an environmentally friendly one. It will provide Ethiopia with base load (energy output) which is affordable and that is the key for us in selecting projects,” Thierry Deau, the founder and CEO of Meridiam said in 2017, when the project was first announced.
Since then, the parties have been working towards exploring and conducting studies in order to find geothermal resources and assemble a team of local and international scientists, including from the United States, Iceland and neighboring Kenya.
Meridiam, based in Paris, is known to work on mega infrastructure projects and has its operations in Europe, North America and Africa. While the company has several offices in the world, its office in Ethiopia is its only office in the region. It also has one in Senegal.