Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) has signed agreements with the Ethiopian government for two geothermal projects of a combined capacity of 1,040MW to be built in the African country.

The two projects are the Tulu Moye and the Corbetti geothermal plants with each having a capacity of 520MW and needing an investment of more than $2.2bn.

Tulu Moye Geothermal, a joint venture of Meridiam and RG, has signed a Power Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement (PPA/IA) with Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) for the Tulu Moye project.

The Corbetti geothermal plant, to be built by Corbetti Geothermal has also bagged a similar PPA and IA with EEP and the GoE. Corbetti is an Ethiopian project company funded by Reykjavik Geothermal, Iceland Drilling, African Renewable Energy Fund and InfraCo Africa.

Corbetti CEO Steve Meyer said: “Corbetti is a truly landmark project for Ethiopia being the country’s first Independent Power Project to sign a PPA and the first large-scale project to harness Ethiopia’s valuable geothermal resource.

“This important milestone could not have been achieved without the enormous support it has received from many people throughout the GoE and EEP.”

According to RG, the Tulu Moye power project will see involvement of French, US and Icelandic investors. The geothermal project will be built around the Tulu Moye volcano in Oromia.

The partners of the Tulu Moye project intend to commission the first 50MW by 2020 and the full capacity by 2023.

Reykjavik Geothermal CEO Gudmundur Thoroddsson said: “Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) working with the Government of Ethiopia and Ethiopia Electric Power, has led the development of the geothermal power sector in Ethiopia for the past six years.

“As the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Ethiopia, RG has helped create the legal, financial and technical framework for the historic projects that have been signed today.”