ECONOMICS OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY IN DAIRY PROCESSING


Rotich Bernard, Jack Kiruja
Geothermal Development Company
P.O Box 100746-00101, Nairobi-Kenya
brotich@gdc.co.ke, jkiruja@gdc.co.ke,


ABSTRACT

Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is drilling geothermal wells at Menengai, in Nakuru, for electricity generation. However, excess heat from these wells can be used for direct use. Nakuru has an established dairy sector. A feasibility study by GDC/USAID revealed that the Nakuru milk shed has the potential to host a milk processor with a capacity of 500,000 litres/day. The thermal energy required to process this milk is about 205,970 kWht/day. The Menengai geothermal project has sufficient energy to support the 500,000 litre per day milk processing facility. Thermal energy required for milk processing accounts for about 65% of the total energy requirements. The thermal energy will be obtained from geothermal waters through heat exchange technology. It costs $ 0.12 to produce a kWht from fossil fuels while a kWht from geothermal energy can cost as low as $ 0.035. This results in the reduction of the cost of energy for milk processing from 7% to 3.7% of the total production cost.

Key words: Geothermal direct use, Dairy processing, Menengai


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