Tanzania is aiming to expand its geothermal energy sector after being awarded $21.7 million of funding from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF).

The country’s Geothermal Energy Development project aims to explore and develop the geothermal energy potential of the Ngozi geothermal steam field in southwestern Tanzania.

The project is funded under the CIF’s Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) and will receive $5 million as loan and $16.73 million in grant resources to be implemented by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“Today, we are assisting in the first step in the transformation of Tanzania’s energy sector, a transformation that is being built on a sustainable energy source,” said Leandro Azevedo, AfDB’s Senior Climate Finance Officer and CIF Coordinator.

“Developing geothermal capacity in Tanzania is an essential part of that transformation and we hope that this project’s success will lead downstream to the installation of a 100 MW power plant and help create the conditions for the development of other geothermal sites in the country,” he added.

The project involves conducting exploratory test drilling and installing the required steam gathering infrastructure in the Ngozi geothermal site. This SREP highly concessional finance will be instrumental in mitigating the high-risk nature of geothermal prospection and field development.

The project will serve as a blueprint for further geothermal development in Tanzania and the wider African Rift Valley region.