Geothermal Workshop on the Western Branch of the East African Rift System (EARS)
Kigali, 11th March 2016 - The Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme & - the African Rift Geothermal Development Facility ( UNEP-ARGeo), the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) hosted a Technical Workshop at Lemigo Hotel, Kigali from 9-11 March 2016 on “the Geologic Development and Geophysics of the Western Branch of the Greater East African Rift System (EARS)” to discuss the geologic setup and conditions that would support the development of geothermal systems in the countries of the western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS) which include Burundi, DR Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Geothermal exploration in the western branch of EARS has so far not succeeded in discovering utilizable geothermal resources. Part of the reasons are that (i) the systems in the west are not (or not clearly) associated with a magmatic geologic conditions, (ii) the nature and characteristics of the systems are not fully understood, (iii) experiences and research methods for geothermal exploration used in the eastern branch of EARS have been applied to systems in the western branch.
Around 60 regional and international geoscientists attended the workshop. The main outcome of the workshop was the understanding of the geologic processes and current state of the western branch of EARS region that account for the creation and sustenance of its geothermal resources.
Prior to the workshop, the 1st African Geothermal Center of Excellence Steering Committee Meeting (AGCE) composed of representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC), UNEP, the Government of Kenya, the Geothermal Development Company (GDC), the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Rwanda and Djibouti was held on 8th March 2016 at Rwanda Energy Group Limited (REG Ltd) Headquarters.
A side meeting of the Seventh ARGeo Steering Committee (ARGeo-SC7) took place on 09 March 2016 at Lemigo Hotel. All representatives of the six ARGeo member countries (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) and partners (ICEIDA and AUC) participated in this ARGeo-SC7 meeting.