KALAHARI Geo Energy Limited plans to commence preliminary shallow drilling for geothermal energy development at its identified sites in the Kafue basin.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zambian government in 2011 for geothermal energy exploration rights to “certain identified targets among them in Kafue basin” but delays to get environmental approval delayed commencement of the exploration works.
“After delays, we finally got the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval last year and in the next two weeks, we are looking at commencing shallow drilling. We will drill wells of 350 metres deep and depending on the results, we may do deep drilling in September,” Moses Banda, company director, said on the sidelines of the mining conference in Lusaka on Wednesday.
“If the results from the deep drilling are satisfactory, we may start the plant design in the first quarter of next year and possibly commence power generation in 2015.”
Current electricity supply comes mostly from hydro-power, but an increase in demand is forcing Zambia to look at other potential energy sources.
Banda said a predictable environment and less government interference would be needed to promote geothermal energy in Zambia.
“The tariffs also need to be cost reflective,” added Banda.
The Energy Regulation Board has not indicated when it will decide on the tariff for geothermal energy and other renewable energies