Geothermal experts drawn from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and her collaborators; JICA, KenGen, Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and Kyushu University in Japan converged today, September 2, to seek possible ways of enhancing technical expertise critical in exploiting and developing geothermal in Kenya.
Addressing the experts during the week-long training workshop held at the JKUAT Main campus in Juja, Chief Geologist from the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Chrispin Lupe lauded the organizers for the training acknowledging that the move was critical in enriching the capacity of geothermal experts in the country.
Through a multisector collaboration on geothermal capacity building, JKUAT, KenGen, Kyushu University (Japan), GDC and JICA, bided and won the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) research grant that will soon to be launched.
For this milestone, Mr. Lupe who represented the Energy Ministry Principal Secretary, Dr. Eng. Joseph Njoroge assured the partners of the Ministry’s support and said SATREPS provided a great opportunity for in-depth research in the geothermal sector to further understand geothermal activities in the East African Rift Valley.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Wambui Ngumi said her University sought to be involved in carrying out extensive research and training on the assessment of the vast geothermal resources in Kenya and innovate appropriate technologies to optimize its exploitation.
“JKUAT considers technological advancements, innovation and entrepreneurship as the key drivers of sustainable development. One of the key areas of focus for the university is research on energy and in particular renewable energy,” said Prof. Ngumi in a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Vice Chancellor in-charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua.
On SATREPS, Prof. Ngumi was confident that the research grant will significantly help facilitate the rollout of major innovations, formulations and technology to the geothermal sector across the country.
“For SATREPS to succeed there is need to build capacity through such short appraisal training workshops and develop a smooth working relationship between the partner institutions,” opined the Vice Chancellor.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer GDC, Eng. Johnson Ole Nchoe who was represented by the Senior Scientist in-charge of Research and Innovation, Dr. Thecla Mutia acknowledged JICA and Kyushu University for the development of human capacity and provision of geo-scientific equipment towards geothermal exploitation in the country.
The training workshop that culminates on September 7 with a field trip to Olkaria geothermal power plant, was also addressed by among others; Mr. Cyrus Karingithi (KenGen Ltd.), Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua, Principal of College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC), Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University Prof. Ryuichi Itoi, and Mr. Seroni Anyona (CoETEC).