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As part of its drive to fast-track geothermal energy development, the government of Uganda is now establishing a Geothermal Resources Department within the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
The goal is to assist the development of geothermal energy resources of Uganda for power generation. The plan is still awaiting approval from the Finance Ministry.
The Department will steer geothermal development and is a similar effort as that by Kenya or Tanzania, that both established geothermal entities to help development. Kenya established its Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and Tanzania established an own independent institution.
In Uganda, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has extended support and technical assistance. JICA has so far visited 17 different sites in southwestern and western Uganda in seven administrative districts. “Surface studies are to be undertaken in Panyimur (Nebbi District), Kibiro (Hoima), Katwe-Kikorongo (Kasese) and Buranga (Bundibugyo-Ntoroko)”, so Vincent Kata, the principal geologist in the Department of Geological Survey and Mines in Uganda.
Further studies are being done on other sites, and it is worked on establishing and managing data bases and capacity building with partners from Iceland and Kenya.
Currently there are seven companies that have received exploration licenses in Uganda.
Source: National News Agency of Malaysia
Reported by Geotermia Andina S.A, a subsidiary of Andean Geothermal Power Inc. (Toronto, Canada), it has recently completed a thermal gradient drilling campaing at its Los Despoblados geothermal project in Valle del Cura, San Juan Province in Argentina.
First tests show positive results. The company is now seeking for a strategic partner to help accelerate development of its portfolio of geothermal projects in Argentina. There is strong power demand from mining operations located near the concessions, Geotermia Andina holds in Argentina, in close distance to the border to Chile.
For further information, please contact the company at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: by email
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) invites you to present your latest technical work in geothermal research, exploration, development and utilization at the GRC’s 38th Annual Meeting, September 28 – October 1, 2014 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, USA. Our theme this year is “Geothermal: A Global Solution.”
Anyone who wants to present at the GRC Annual Meeting must first submit a completed draft paper. Successful selection to present at the GRC 2014 Annual Meeting is prestigious and recognizes the presenter as a top industry expert. International participation is key to the success of the GRC Annual Meeting technical programs and we encourage geothermal researchers and experts from around the world to submit their work for consideration.
Draft Paper submission deadline is May 2, 2014
Please direct all content related questions to: Al Waibel, Technical Chair,email@example.com
Please direct all format and general submission questions to: Anh Lay, GRC staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (530)758-2360 ext. 100
The Island of Akutan in Alaska, part of the east-central Aleutian Islands, has been covered here on ThinkGeoEnergy in the past. The island has seen a number of studies since the 1980s and we reported on it in 2009 and 2010.
Now the U.S. Geological Survey publishes results of a Geochemical Study conducted in 2012 that highlights the potential for geothermal power development on the Island.
Akutan Island hosts the largest seafood production facility in North America, which though operates only seasonal. This makes the economics of any power development a bit tricky. But geothermal is seen as a great opportunity to green this operation, which currently derives its power from diesel power generation.
The USGS now reports that “the results from this study document higher concentrations of hydrothermal components in the hot spring waters and an increase in water discharge from the hot spring system. The current heat output of the hot spring system is estimated at 29 megawatts – nearly ten times higher than measured in the early 1980s. This large increase may reflect the volcanic and seismic events of the 1990s, and if so, it cannot be considered a short-term anomaly. Modern geothermal plants could use this heat to generate several MW of electricity. One MW of electric power would supply the needs of about 750 homes.”
Temperatures are 200-240 degrees Celsius. Depending on investment and development, options are there for “high-temperature, deeper resource development or a moderate-temperature resource at relatively shallow depth.”, so Deborah Bergfeld, USGS geochemist and lead author of the report.
The full report, “Geochemical investigation of the hydrothermal system on Akutan Island, Alaska, July 2012,” USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5231, is available online. Additional funding for this research was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office.
This probably falls more in the category “interesting fact” rather than actually a news piece. But coming across the number of geothermal wells in Nevada I thought it would be interesting to report on it.
The article talks about the role of the Division of Minerals in the State of Nevada. As part of its supervision role, it is in charge of inspecting both geothermal and oil wells drilled in the state.
There are today 430 geothermal wells drilled in Nevada, compared to 111 oil wells. The article questions the issue of blow-outs, but mostly in line with oil wells.
There seems to be little supervision with the wells, a fact that had now under investigation and as a result a review of all wells was ordered and will be completed by the end of March this year.
The situation in Nevada is a bit complicated as most oil wells are on public land, “while the ones that the state generally checks are geothermal wells on private property.” There is an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that prevents duplicate inspections and BLM checks wells on a three-year-cycle.
“In 2012, 2.4 million MW hours of electricity were provided by Nevada geothermal wells, mostly found in Churchill and Washoe counties, enough to power 219,000 homes.”
Source: Review Journal
Reported earlier this week, Enel Green Power’s subsidiary Enel Green Power Chile announces it has concluded a loan agreement with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chile (BBVA) for a $150 million loan to be used to partially cover its investment plan over the next few years in Chile.
A 5-year loan, it will be disbursed in the next few months and is backed by a parent company guarantee.
In Chile, Enel Green Power works on wind power projects, solar parks, but also is exploring various concessions with a potential of power generation capacity of more than 100 MW.
The company is one of the largest renewable energy developers with today a total installed capacity of 1,080 MW with operations in Costa Rica, Mexico and Chile, and additional projects in Brazil.
Source: Newswire Today
News have been rather spare on development in Chile. The acquisition and buying into projects in South America by Philippine based Energy Development Corp. (EDC), clearly was seen by many as a good sign that things might be picking up. We will have to see if this will materialize.
In news now, EDC reports that it will focus its work on the Mariposa project in Talca, Chile in 2014. Having analyzed the Chilean market for about three years, EDC last year decided to acquire in full or in majority stakes projects from Australian Hot Rock Ltd. and Canadian Alterra Power.
EDC plans to put $54 million to work in Chile focusing on drilling at the Mariposa project site. EDC bought itself into this project by Canadian Alterra Power in the middle of last year. The arrangement sees EDC to fully provide funding for the project from this point. The project has an estimated potential of up to 340 MW of generation capacity.
In the first phase the company will determine the certainty of the potential power generation at Mariposa. This is a long term effort and it is not expected that power will be generated within the next 7 years.
While exploring investment opportunities in Chile, EDC did not have concessions. The acquisitions of 2013 make EDC now a serious player in the market in South America.”
Source: Economía y negocios
In a recent article in The Parliament, Vittorio Prodi, Member of the European Parliament and sitting on the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, highlights the great potential for geothermal energy in the European energy mix.
There he talks about the reliable base-load energy provided by geothermal, which complements various other renewables providing broad market opportunities. But he also talks about the challenges faced by geothermal in Europe.
“Given the right policy environment, geothermal technology would be able to contribute significantly to our energy and environmental objectives (20 per cent for renewable energy’s share of energy consumption in the EU by 2020 and the promotion and use of renewable energy), but there are significant barriers to overcome.”, so Vittorio Prodi.
Geothermal power represents about 4.4 of total renewable energy consumption in the EU in 2010, but it could avoid up to 40 megatons of CO2 a year in 2020 and 50 megatons a year in 2030.
He correctly highlights the risks faced by developers and the high cost of drilling, as key obstacles for more development. While feed in tariffs are mentioned here, he also points out to the need that “energy regulators and competition authorities, at EU and national level, need to act decisively to ensure that all companies are treated equally, ensuring a level playing field.”
To read the full article see link below.
Vittorio Prodi is the brother of Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission.
Source: The Parliament
Announced already on December 24, 2013, developer Ram Power Corp. (TSX:RPG) has successfully completed its previously announced offering of rights to holders of its common shares of record at the close of business on November 26, 2013. A total of approximately 67 million Common Shares were issued pursuant to the Rights Offering.
The Rights Offering raised gross proceeds of approximately $5.4 million. The net proceeds from the Rights Offering will be used by Ram Power to fulfill upcoming interest payment obligations to the holders of Ram Power’s outstanding debentures in the aggregate amount of approximately $2,180,000 due December 31, 2013 and for general corporate and working capital purposes.”
Source: Company release via MarketWired
In a release today, Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) “announced that the company has won a major order in Turkey to supply key equipment, including turbines, generators and condensers, for the Alasehir geothermal power plant that Zorlu Energy, an independent power producer and member of the Zorlu Holdings Group, will build in Alasehir, in western Turkey’s Manisa Province. Toshiba will start to install the equipment in October 2014, and the plant is scheduled to come online in 2015.
Electricity consumption in Turkey is growing fast, driven by population growth and economic development. Estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that demand will more than double in the next decade. The Turkish government is responding by promoting capacity expansion, including boosting geothermal power generation from 300 megawatts (MW) to double. Most of these plants will be built in the geothermal-rich Aegean Region, in the west of the country.
Toshiba will install total 40MW of two systems: a 30MW flash steam generation system that pulls hot water under high pressure into a separator to produce steam; and a 10MW binary cycle power facility that uses lower temperature fluid to vaporize a liquid with a lower boiling point. It is the first time for Toshiba to supply geothermal power equipments in Turkey.
Toshiba is the world top supplier in the supply of geothermal power, with a 23% market share. The company has installed 52 geothermal systems around the world, including North America, Southeast Asia and Europe, with a combined capacity of 2,800 MW. In August last year, Toshiba established Toshiba Infrastructure and Electronics A.S. in Istanbul, to reinforce its power generation system business in Turkey and its neighboring countries. Toshiba also aims for the participation in the geothermal plant project planned in East Africa, and will continue to promote and expand its geothermal power business around the world as part of comprehensive portfolio of renewable energy solutions.
The Alasehir geothermal plant is to be installed from October 2014, with an expected start of operation in October 2015. Toshiba will install a 30 megawatt flash steam turbine, 10 megawatt binary cycle power turbine, generator and condenser for this project developed by Zorlu Energy.
Source: Company release via Yahoo Finance
Local news report from a recent visit of the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy to Olkaria. At the visit with KenGen’s CEO and government representatives, the projects were described as key to bringing down electricity tariffs for households and businesses.
The first phase of 140 MW development was supposed to be completed between January and February 2014, but it now does not look like it will be ready . The second phase of another 140 MW is still expected to be ready until July and August 2014. Contractors and the developer have reassured that remaining work on Phase 2 will be ready in the set timeline.
When the plants go online, they are expected to drop down power prices as the cost of energy is only around $0.02 per kWh. Currently consumers pay Sh16 per kWh ($0.18), but this is expected to drop to Sh6 per kWh ($0.06).
It is expected that another 350 MW in geothermal power generation capacity could be added at Olkaria, 600 MW at Suswa and the Baringo-Silale area with a potential of 140 MW.
As an initial step towards a geothermal power project at Tattapani in Chhattisgarh, India, NTPC – India’s largest power company – has signed an intial agreement with the Geological Survey of India.
The memorandum of understanding signed today, describes the preparation of a Detailed Project Report for a geothermal power project”. Another similar project had been signed between NTPC and the Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency to set up the the project.
Source: IBN Live
The Board of Hot Rock Limited (Company) are pleased to advise that the Company has now completed the sale of the majority of its South American Geothermal Projects to Energy Development Corporation with all of the required approvals having been received and the remaining $US2,500,000 of the total contract price of US$3,000,000 now paid. A deposit of US$500,000 was previously paid. Of the funds received, an amount of US$230,000 is
subject to retention and held in an escrow account pending the resolution of a tax matter in Peru.
The sale proceeds will provide working capital to enable the Company to progress with its remaining geothermal assets in Australia and Chile, whilst also investigating other opportunities.
Source: Company release (pdf)
With merger proceedings started in September 2013, California headquartered Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE: JEC) announced in December 2013, “that it completed its merger transaction with Sinclair Knight Merz, a 6,900-person professional services firm headquartered in Australia, in accord with the previously announced terms.
Jacobs purchased SKM for approximately AUS$1.3 billion in cash (approximately US $1.2 billion as of the date of this release). The purchase price reflects an enterprise value of AUS$1.2 billion (US$1.1 billion) plus adjustments for cash, debt and other items.
Founded in 1964, SKM is an employee owned company with broad consulting, planning, engineering, architecture, scientific and construction management capabilities. The company has significant operations in Australia, Asia, South America, and the U.K., and serves clients in multiple industries, including Mining and Metals, Building and Infrastructure, Water and Environment, and Power and Energy. SKM’s 2013 revenue was approximately AUS$1.3 billion (US$1.2 billion).
In the geothermal sector, SKM has mainly been known for its consultancy services for the sector, mostly in exploration services globally.
The name “Sinclair Knight Merz” (SKM) is now disappearing as operations seem to be already being conducted under the name of “Jacobs/ Jacobs Engineering”, at least several employees have changed their details on the online business network LinkedIn.
“In making the announcement, Jacobs President and CEO Craig Martin stated, “The combination of Jacobs and SKM further diversifies our geographic offerings and the end-markets we serve. We look forward to integrating the two companies and see many excellent opportunities ahead to support our clients, develop our people, and grow our business.”
SKM CEO and Managing Director Santo Rizzuto added, “We are very enthusiastic about our future with Jacobs. Being one integrated company increases opportunities for our employees to build their careers in a range of disciplines around the world. We have significantly expanded our geographies and capabilities. The benefits we can deliver now that our companies are joined allow us to serve our clients better and in more places.”
Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical professional and construction services.”
Source: SKM Website
In a release today, Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:ORA) announced “that it completed the Don A. Campbell geothermal power plant in Mineral County, Nevada. The plant is producing its full capacity of 16 megawatts (net) and performing as expected as of December 6, 2013.
The Don A. Campbell facility, formerly Wild Rose, is receiving a full rate of $99 per megawatt hour with no annual escalation under the terms of the Power Purchase Agreement with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). SCPPA is reselling the power to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Burbank Water and Power (BWP). Ormat wheels the power from the Don A. Campbell plant to SCPPA over NV Energy’s transmission grid including the new One Nevada Transmission Line (ON Line) recently placed in service, making Ormat the first independent power producer to use the ON Line to export renewable energy to customers in California.
“Completing the Don A. Campbell geothermal power plant and reaching full capacity is a historical milestone in our continued partnership with SCPPA to bring reliable, renewable geothermal power to California’s ratepayers,” said Yoram Bronicki, president and chief operating officer at Ormat. “We commend NV Energy for their success in making statewide transmission in Nevada a possibility, thereby allowing resources in northern Nevada to serve customers not only in southern Nevada but also in southern California through ON Line’s completion.”
With a low resource temperature of approximately 260 degrees Fahrenheit, the Don A. Campbell geothermal power plant features Ormat Energy Converter (OEC) technology, allowing for cost-effective power generation from one of the lowest temperature geothermal resources ever deployed on a utility scale by Ormat. The power plant was completed in nine months from start of mechanical construction to full output.
“Ormat’s holistic approach to geothermal development, matching power plant design to the specific characteristics of the geothermal resource through rigorous exploration and field development, allowed our team of experts to work together to develop this successful project,” Bronicki added. “The short construction timeline, followed by just one week of startup operation from initial synchronization to full power, is a testament to the quality of our products and our ability to execute on time and on budget.
“I’d like to extend gratitude to the Ormat team for their great effort that made this project a success and, with its completion, a symbol commemorating our late colleague Don A. Campbell. His talent and experience in the geothermal industry led to the identification of this very special field. He will truly be missed.”
Source: Company release via Marketwatch
We reported on Geothermal Development Company of Kenya (GDC) looking to raise $300 million, with details now emerging.
GDC, a 100% state-owned corporation, tasked with accelerating the development of geothermal energy in Kenya, is undertaking geothermal development at Suswa Prospect. Detailed surface studies comprising of geology, geophysics, surface heat measurement, baseline environmental and social economic assessment estimates the field potential to be about 750 MW. The current project aims to realize about 300 MW between year 2016 and 2018.
The estimated 300 MW Suswa Phase I Geothermal Project including the power plants construction is projected to be completed between 2016 and 2018. GDC jointly with the selected investors will develop the steam by drilling exploration, appraisal and production wells. The competitively selected investors will thereafter construct the power plants and generate power with the fuel mined from this prospect. A total of 120 wells will be drilled for this Phase.
The detailed surface study has been completed. The studies leading to ESIA license from National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) relating to the resource development is in progress. Infrastructural development will start from July, 2014/15.
Under this project, GDC will obtain all land rights, permits and undertake construction of the road network, drilling water reticulation system, drilling of exploration and appraisal wells to confirm presence of the resource. In addition, jointly with the selected partners, GDC will undertake all the remaining drilling works (production and re-injection), feasibility study(s) and construction of the necessary steam gathering and reinjection network. GDC’s investment will comprise a total of 20% to 40% of the required capital for this development phase or as may be agreed between the parties.
After power plants commissioning by the development partners, GDC will be responsible for reservoir management and the brine reinjection system.
The Investors, under a joint steam development contract, will finance between 60% and 80% of the require capital for the steam development in a manner to be spelled out in the detailed request for proposal to be issued to the shortlisted investors. The investors will recoup their investments through regular payments made from revenue generated through steam sales in a manner to be spelled out in the detailed request for proposal over a period of 20 years or any other agreed period.
Further, the Investors will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the power plants. While steam field is under development, the investor will have the opportunity to install wellhead generation units for early power generation. The Government of Kenya will not provide sovereign guarantees relating to this investment and therefore the investors should seek other alternatives such as MIGA (World Bank).
It is expected that the short listing will be completed by April, 2014 followed by request for detailed proposal. The Selection of preferred investors will be completed by December, 2014. The award to the preferred investors will be subject to the investor successfully negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (power off taker), securing a generation license from the Energy Regulatory Commission and conclude financing within an agreed period by the parties.
A period of 24 – 36 months will be provided for power plant construction.
For details of the Call for Expressions of Interest, see link below.
Deadline is February 20, 2014.
Source: Official Tender Overview (pdf)
The Imperial Valley in California, is considered one of the largest geothermal areas in the United States. So it is maybe not surprising that a new report by the Imperial Irrigation District considers that “geothermal, solar and other green technologies could generate more than $4 billion in revenues for the Salton Sea region over the next 30 years.”
While this sounds impressive, it includes large unknowns due to the receding water levels of the Salton Sea. The costs for restoring the salt water sea are estimated to cost from $3 billion to $9 billion. So while the renewable technologies based revenues would help cover parts of it, it will not mean much money will be left over.
There are also additional challenges, last but not least to the optimistic estimates of large 100-200 MW geothermal plants, as raised by Vince Signorotti, VP of resource and real estate assets for EnergySource, a geothermal operator and developer in the Salton Sea. In the article cited here, he particularly points to the challenging mineral content of the geothermal brine in the area.
Any renewable development would also require a new larger transmission line to Substations in Southern California. Just permitting, planning and financing would take a long long time. Another large unknown is how policy will develop for renewables and in particular for geothermal. So while there is a large geothermal potential in the Salton Sea, it might not be as easy to economically develop resources for the benefit of the region.
Source: My Desert
Reported on late last year, Japan is supporting Ethiopian efforts on geothermal development. As part of a planned visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Africa this week, it now emerges that the country will loan Ethiopia $95 million for the work on the Aluto-Langano geothermal plant expansion.
Japan is keen to counter the increasing Chinese influence in Africa, mostly due to the resource riches of the continent.
It is expected that the loans are for Japanese equipment for the plant.
AS reported this morning from Kenya, the development of the steamfield for the development of up to 280 MW of geothermal power plants at Olkaria, Kenya has been completed. The drilling and installation was funded by the World Bank, with drilling provided by Chinese company Sinopec (Great Wall Drilling).
“The steam field development done by Sinopec International begun work at Olkaria in Naivasha in April 2012 and entailed installation of a pipeline system to collect steam from various wells, steam separators as well as steam field control system.
The total piping system installation is 40 kilometres and includes various pipe sizes of up to 42 inches radius.
“The work of steam field development is complete, pipes have been laid and also fixed to the power station,” said the Senior Communications Officer for Kengen, Kaara Wainaina.
The project had been predicted to take up to 20 months but has taken a slightly lesser time than that.
The laying of the pipes and the entire steam field development was the last major milestone in construction of the 280 MW geothermal project that will pump a further 25 percent of current capacity to the national grid and this is expected to happen mid this year.
Wainaina expressed optimism on the adherence of this schedule saying everything was working according to plan.
The Olkaria geothermal power plant puts the power generator on a green energy path, with geothermal expected to provide half of electricity needs of the country by 2018.”
This now passed year has been another record-breaking year for ThinkGeoEnergy and as every year, we are here posting the top 10 most read news pieces of ThinkGeoEnergy posted in 2013. To read last year’s Top 10, click here.
- Indonesia announces new feed-in-tariffs
- Drilling contract signed for Biliran
- 16 firms chosen by KenGen for 280 MW Olkaria development
- Philippine-Dutch consortium to develop 20 MW Montelago project
- New geothermal plant planned at Tattapani, India
- Pertamina dismisses CEO of PT Pertamina Geothermal
- Kenya Power and private developer sign PPA for Logonot project
- Business model geothermal, do we need outside inspiration?
- Expression of Interest: Geothermal Exploration in Rwanda, Burundi and DR of Congo
- PLN and Pertamina sign contract on Sarulla project
The list draws a rather interesting picture. Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and the East African region have been on the forefront of news for the geothermal sector and this is somewhat in line with the top 10 trends we foresee for this year.