The Barrier Volcanic Complex, the northernmost geothermal prospect within the Kenyan Rift Valley, is situated on the southern shores of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake. The BVC separates Lake Turkana from the Suguta Valley. The volcanic complex takes the form of a whale-back ridge 20 km long and 15 km wide and consisting of four distinct shield volcanoes. Kenya’s most recent volcanic eruption was at the BVC in 1921.
In the early 1990s, a British Geological Survey team conducted reconnaissance studies in this location. Findings revealed strong surface manifestations of a hydrothermal system. In 2011, exploration studies conducted at the BVC by a Kenyan energy parastatal revealed a resource with sub-surface temperatures of up to 281°C. Olsuswa Energy’s own surface studies programme, conducted in March 2019, confirmed a high-temperature geothermal resource with an estimated potential of up to 600 MWe.