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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Intellecon and BBA//Fjeldco receive grant to explore geothermal heat utilization for drying tea in Kenya

María Mjöll Jónsdóttir, Director for International Affairs and Development Cooperation and Gunnar Haraldsson, CEO of Intellecon - mynd

With the support of the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Fund, consulting firm Intellecon and law firm BBA//Fjeldco will explore the possibility of utilizing geothermal heat for drying tea in Kenya. The project is in partnership with Kenyan partners Geothermal Development Company and Rosekey Foods. An agreement for funding by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs‘ Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Fund was signed 12 March.

Tea production is a very important, albeit polluting, industry in Kenya. Utilization of geothermal heat can have a very positive impact on food security and the environmental impact of the industry. The project supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goal eight on decent work and economic growth, goal twelve on responsible consumption and production and goal thirteen on climate action. The project has the potential to significantly decrease Kenya‘s CO2 emissions. In 2002 an estimated 155,000 tons of wood were burned in Kenya to dry tea and other foods. About 1.8 tons of CO2 are released for every ton of wood burned. In 2002, an estimated 300.000 tons of CO2 were thus released into the atmosphere to dry food in Kenya. It is clear that significant amounts of CO2 emissions can be avoided by replacing wood burning with geothermal heat.

The project is a partnership between consulting firm Intellecon and law firm BBA//Fjeldco. Both firms have extensive and growing experience in geothermal and other sustainable energy projects in developing countries. If the project is successful, there are hopes that more opportunities could follow for job creation and economic development in Kenya along the lines of developing cooperation in energy and food production.

The Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Fund supports Icelandic private sector firms who want to work towards the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goals by launching co-operative ventures in developing countries. By participating, private sector firms can support increased economic activity in developing countries and enhance their own competitiveness in emerging markets. The next deadline for applications to the fund is 3 May. Further information is available on www.mfa.is/sdgfund.

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