Direct Use of Geothermal Energy: Feasibility Study for the Construction of a Geothermal Spa in Menengai, Kenya


Njuguna Esther and Towett Japhet
Geothermal Development Company


ABSTRACT

Geothermal energy, heat from the interior of the Earth, has been utilized by mankind since time memorial, with hot springs and hot pools being used for bathing, health treatment, cooking and heating. The resource has also been used for producing salts from brine. In Iceland, natural hot springs have been used for bathing for a long time, but since early the last century, outdoor swimming pools have gained popularity, and are today part of daily life of a large population in many parts of the world where geothermal resources exist. In Kenya, the use of hot springs is limited to only two facilities; the natural Lake Bogoria Spa, and a geothermal spa recently constructed in Olkaria by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) utilizing brine tapped from a reinjection line. In 2015, a Direct Use Demonstration Project was launched in the Menengai Geothermal Field by Geothermal Development Company, GDC, and is being used to showcase modern direct applications of geothermal energy. GDC is exploring the possibility of setting up a geothermal spa in the same field to enhance direct utilisation of geothermal energy and also add value to the tourism industry in the Menengai Geothermal Prospect. This paper, on a feasibility study, assesses suitable size, quality, capacity and cost, and has come up with a schedule for its construction while ensuring international quality requirements.
Keywords: Spa, Geothermal Energy, Direct Use, Brine, Financial Evaluation


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