OREANDA-NEWS. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of the Republic of Djibouti in Djibouti City for the Test Well Drilling Project for Geothermal Development in Djibouti, technical cooperation for development planning.

The project aims to improve the geothermal development technology of the Djiboutian Geothermal Energy Development Office (ODDEG) by providing cooperation pertaining to the acquisition of the data needed to formulate geothermal development policies in Djibouti through test well drilling in the country’s geothermal development zone. It also aims to strengthen the capacity to manage geothermal drilling, to develop a reservoir model, and to evaluate geothermal resources.

The energy demand in Djibouti is expected to grow annually by around five percent through 2025 as a result of large-scale economic development. Despite this growing need, Djibouti relies on imports from neighboring Ethiopia for 66 percent of the power supply. Also, all of the power generation facilities owned by Djibouti Electricity Company uses diesel, which has a high energy production cost. Ensuring an inexpensive, stable supply of power is therefore a priority.

The ODDEG was established in 2014 directly under the President’s Office in order to develop potential geothermal resources estimated at 1,000 megawatts of geothermal power. Since 2014, JICA has been carrying out a surface study with the ODDEG and narrowing down potential geothermal development sites.

The project originated with a request for support from the Government of Djibouti to the Government of Japan based on a high level of confidence in Japanese geothermal development experience and technology. The project is expected to contribute to promoting geothermal development and to increasing the secure, stable supply of domestic energy by strengthening the capacity of geothermal development engineers in Djibouti.