Geothermal project in Zambia set to pilot production by year end

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  • Kalahari GeoEnergy is looking to the future with optimism as their geothermal project in Bweengwa, Zambia is set to pilot production.
  • The company’s target to begin a pilot power generation by 2021 was derailed by the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
  • An initial 50kW capacity is expected to come online by the end of the year.

The Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area covers the southern part of Lochinvar National Park and traditional lands sparsely occupied by the pastoralist Tonga ethnic group to the south of the Park.

The surface manifestations of the Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area include geothermal springs that extend over 9km and lie on the southern basin bounding regional fault of the Kafue Trough. Ongoing exploration has to-date included the drilling of fourteen temperature gradient/slim wells totalling 3,500m.

Results confirm a geologic setting conducive for geothermal hydrothermal systems and give a strong probability of a medium-low enthalpy geothermal resource that can support a power generation project of at least 10MW. Heat-in-place, power density and heat flow methods were used, providing a consistent estimated usable resource capacity in the range of 10-20MW.

The pilot plant will demonstrate power production for a realistic prospect of a grant or concessional finance under a CFI programme for a commercial scale power plant. The pilot plant is operating on existing slim wells which have a capacity of 500kWe. The pilot plant is to be capped at 250kW capacity being the trigger capacity for a full generating licence and scale up to 10MW.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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