By Anne Sunkuyia
KenGen Geothermal Training Centre has continued to increase its enrolment of regional students in various short-term programmes intended to meet skill needs of priority sector of power and energy. This month, representatives from various countries in Africa met for the inauguration ceremony for development and implementation of capacity building programme for geothermal power utilization for sustainable climate resilient development in Africa under Auspices of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
KenGen through its Geothermal Training Centre will develop and implement the technical trainings for geoscientists, engineers, and environmental experts in geothermal development from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Djibouti and Tanzania in collaboration with UNIDO to create a pool of geothermal experts towards expansion of geothermal capacity.
Participants at the inauguration ceremony for development and implementation of capacity building programme for geothermal power utilization for sustainable climate resilient development in Africa
UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability with the mission of, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, promoting and accelerating inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).
The aim of the programme is to create a pool of geothermal experts in the targeted Countries towards expansion of geothermal capacity in collaboration with UNIDO by Improving awareness, knowledge and capacity on technical matters related to geothermal development; Develop technical capacity and expertise in geothermal technology; and to create networks among geothermal experts within and across the Targeted Countries. This entails provision of training services on three (3) foundation courses in geoscience, geothermal engineering, and environmental and social analysis to create a pool of geothermal experts in the field of geoscience, geothermal engineering and environmental and social analysis. The number of the trainees is expected to be at a minimum thirty (30) in total six (6) experts from five (5) countries.
‘’Japan respect Kenya for not only developing geothermal energy using its own expertise, but also provides renewable trainings to its neighbouring countries,’’ said the Japan embassy representative.
Mr. Peketsa Mangi, General Manager, Geothermal Development who is also the Centre Director, appreciated JICA and UNIDO for the support offered to KenGen over the years. ‘’Thank you for facilitating this training programme. In the recent past, UNIDO has implemented the Internet of Things (IOT) Project here in Olkaria and it’s working very well. Thank you JICA for the support you have given us specifically in infrastructure development’’, He also mentioned that the programme is very important because it underlined the commitment of KenGen to support other countries in terms of technological transfer.
The training focuses on the entire geothermal process from exploration to production. The participants will be taken through key areas including surface exploration, geological mapping, geophysical mapping, temperature and heat flow measurements, Environmental and Social Analysis, Power plants operations, among other subjects. The programme will also include practical work and discussions, field work and site visits to Olkaria geothermal field and power plants.
Ultimately, KenGen GTC will increase the number of students enrolled in various programs aimed at meeting skills needs of priority sector of power and energy.
The Writer is a Senior Information Scientist at KenGen Geothermal Training Centre