Reykjavik Geothermal, a power developer backed by hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II, is about to kick off a $4.4 billion project to bring volcanic energy to Ethiopia.
The projects would become a vital cog in Ethiopia’s drive to become a middle-income country by 2025. Currently, its installed electricity capacity of 4,200 megawatts only provides power for 40% of its 105 million people. Neighboring Kenya already has 685 megawatts of installed geothermal capacity, providing almost a third of its energy.
The projects will cost money and need more investors to reach full potential. The first phase will develop 50 to 60 megawatts, requiring an equity investment of $175 million for each. They have been fully funded and RG holding a significant minority share in each project.
Bringing the full projects on-line would cost about $2.2 billion apiece, with 75% anticipated to be financed via debt. Other owners in the projects include Africa Renewable Energy Fund, Iceland Drilling Co. and Meridiam SAS.