Saturday, June 15, 2024

Production tests kick start at Aluto Langano


Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) announces that production tests on drilled Aluto Langano Geothermal site has commenced.
The state owned electric power producer revealed that the power export has been cut by half starting from this week to keep sustainable power supply in relation to the two religious festivities.
The Aluto Langano, the only developed geothermal site in Ethiopia, which started its expansion work last May, has so far accomplished the drilling of four wells.
Moges Mekonnen, Public Relation Head at EEP, told Capital that the production tests of the four drilled wells will be commenced and that the testing that will be undertaken on two weeks interval. “The testing period may take three months,” Moges stated.
In total 12 wells will be drilled under the project that will be fully finalized at the end of the coming year. Currently, the fifth well is being drilled and the drilling of the sixth well commences soon. “The drilling work was commenced with delays owing to the water supply not flowing at the expected time which is crucial for the project,” the Public Relation Head explained.
The Kenyan firm, KenGen which has carried out the drilling works using two geothermal drilling rigs has allowed the project to run swiftly.
Located about 145km south of Addis Ababa on the Aluto volcanic complex in the main Ethiopian Rift Valley, Aluto-Langano is the only producing geothermal field in Ethiopia and experts express that it is probably the best studied prospect in the Ethiopian Rift. Geoscientific exploration began in 1973 and led to the siting of an exploration well LA3 on top of the volcanic complex.
The well was drilled in 1983 to a depth of 2, 144 meter. Since 1990, Aluto had produced electricity which has now been interrupted in connection with the expansion project.
The undergoing expansion that consumes USD 218 million with the major share being covered by the World Bank of IDA support through ‘Geothermal Sector Development Project’ plans to generate about 70 MW.
In related development, EEP disclosed that the power supply to Djibouti and Sudan has dropped by half starting from this week.
Moges said that EEP, which is responsible to generate and transport power up to the substation besides manage the energy export, to keep the local sustainable power supply in these holiday season has cut the export by half.
He said that the power supply to the two neighbors will continue after the end of the holidays.
He reminded that the peak hour for electric demand used to start at 6 pm, “however since the Ramadan season started the peak hour has come up to 3 pm.”
“Taking the growing power demand to consideration EEP has been undertaking massive preparation for the fasting season and two Christian and Muslim holidays to provided sustainable power,” he explained.
“As per the preparation, the team has been formed, and each unit at the generation plants, sub stations and transmission lines have been tested and made ready,” he added.
Optical fiber cables have also been tested.
A standby team has been formed and dispatched at stations and technical facilities to handle any interruption when it occurs.
“Grid stability stations like Gibe III and Tana Beles have also been specially tested since they are vital for restoration if any interruption occurred,” he said, adding, “as per our experience in similar holiday seasons in the past years, the power demand is from 2,500 to 2,600 MW but now me have made available up to 2,800 MW of power to mitigate the sudden demand.”
Besides the 2,800 MW ranges, EEP has provided a standby reserve if any additional demand shall be needed.
Since EEP is responsible to produce and provide electricity up to distribution stations; it has disclosed that it is working with Ethiopian Electric Service, energy retailer, to ensure sustainable power supply for the two holidays.

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