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The Role of The Yemeni Geothermal Development Project (ygdp): Twenty Years of Research, Training and Geothermal Development In Yemen
The purpose of our paper is to present the achievements of the Yemeni Geothermal Development Project (GDP) since the establishment of the project in Yemen from 2000 until today. The GDP is the first and only project that focuses on geothermal resources studies and creates a comprehensive road map for geothermal exploration and development in Yemen. Inclusive work carried out by the geothermal project team includes geothermal surface explorations, geothermal mapping, geochemical, hydrogeological and geophysical studies and environmental assessment. Based on these studies, geothermal areas in Yemen are classified into five main geothermal fields: Al lisi - Isbil, Al Qafr, Damt, Red Sea Coast and Taiz. Al lisi - Isbil is promising for electricity generation for near-term exploitation where the first well allocated in 2010 to the depth of 1500 m and temperatures above 200 °C was expected to be found whereas the other fields have good potential for moderate and low enthalpy resources. The objective of the GDP is to estimate the geothermal potential for electricity generation from the prospective geothermal field (Al lisi - Isbil) and on the other hand to develop the other new geothermal fields in the country. Generally, the geothermal potential capacity in Yemen is estimated to be 2900 MW to be harvest from geothermal sources. However, the utilization of the resources is still limited to direct applications such as swimming and bathing activities, which was estimated use in 2000 to be 1.0 MWt and 15 TJ/yr. In 2021, the use of geothermal resources in tourism activities has increased in several areas within the country with the estimation of 5.0 MWt and 100 TJ/yr. In parallel with geothermal exploration, the workforce steadily increased in GDP during the last two decades. The majority of workforce strengthened their geothermal knowledge and experience by involving in related training courses and conferences that helped pave the way for the future of the project. Thereby, they published numerous local and international scientific papers, books and presentations that provided reliable and objective information about the geothermal resources in general, and the explorations and developments worldwide by GDP team. The institution financial support for the GDP came as an operating budget annually from the Ministry of Oil and Minerals (MOM) through the Geological Survey and Mineral Resources Board (GSMRB) since 2000 to execute the exploration and development works in the geothermal areas in Yemen. Moreover, the prospected geothermal drilling project in Al lisi - Isbil geothermal well and previous studies were completed by the governmental authorities (GSMRB, MWE and MEE), with scientific and technical assistance from international partner (CNR, BGR and GEF/UNEP). The geothermal potential capacity estimation to be harvest from geothermal resources in Yemen is 2900 MW. However, the utilization of these resources is still limited to direct applications by private tourism activities for entertainment and balneology, with an estimated use of 1 MWt and 15 TJ/year in 2000. Today, the use of geothermal resources in tourism activities has increased due to the building of more hotels and recreational facilities in several areas, and so the estimation is 5.0 MWt and 100 TJ/yr.