FILE PHOTO: KenGen workers are seen at a section of the Olkaria IV geothermal power plant near the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, Kenya
INTERNATIONAL - Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) said Thursday it has clinched a 5.8 billion shillings ($58 million) contract to drill 12 geothermal wells in Ethiopia.

Rebecca Miano, KenGen chief executive said the contract with Ethiopia's independent power producer, the Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations, will also include installing a water supply system and equipment.

"This project entailed intense negotiations and planning. We are excited our efforts bore fruit. Being fully aware of the task ahead of us, we have rolled our sleeves and are now all set and ready," Miano said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The electricity producer will supply drilling materials and also provide operation and maintenance services for both the drilling equipment and the water supply system. Miano said the contract is the second and the company's largest consultancy outside Kenya.

In February, KenGen won a contract to drill geothermal wells for the Ethiopian Electric Power in Aluto, Ethiopia.

Miano said in the statement that KenGen, which has embarked on a diversification strategy, leverages its expertise in geothermal energy by offering commercial drilling services, geothermal consulting and other related services across Africa.

She said the firm has invested in finding experts with considerable experience in geothermal exploration and drilling and will build the capacities of teams from Ethiopia who will be working on the project.

Kenya is Africa's number one geothermal energy producer and among the top 10 in the world, according to KenGen. The country has an estimated potential of 10,000MW along the Rift Valley.