45 MW Tikitere Geothermal Power Project in New Zealand

Steaming Falls, Tikitere, Rotorua, New Zealand
Steaming Falls near Tikitere, Rotorua, New Zealand.
(cc) Colin Cookman

Ormat Technologies has entered into a Build, Operate and Transfer Agreement (BOT Agreement) with Tikitere Geothermal Power Limited (TGL) to explore, develop, supply, construct, own, and operate a geothermal power plant in the Tikitere geothermal area near Rotorua, New Zealand. Ormat was awarded the project following a competitive bidding process initiated by TGL.

TGL was established as a joint venture vehicle for the various Maori trusts that own and administer the land. TGL’s shares are held by the Tikitere Trust. The field from which the energy will be drawn is owned by the Tiki Tere Trust, Paehinahina Mourea and Tiki Tere A (Aggregated) and the Manupirua Ahu Whenua Trust. The wells will be sited on land owned by the Paehinahina Mourea Trust.

Under the BOT Agreement, the parties will jointly develop a geothermal power plant with an estimated capacity of approximately 45 MW. The project will be operated by Ormat, which shall be the project’s beneficiary for an initial period of 14 years following commercial operation and then 100 percent of ownership interests in the project shall be transferred to TGL. During the BOT period, TGL will receive an income stream while a coordination committee, comprised of representatives from both parties, will monitor the operations of the project in order to protect and promote the heritage and cultural values of the Maori land owners.

The project will utilize Ormat’s generating units, similar to those already deployed in 12 geothermal projects in New Zealand, totaling approximately 260 MW.

The BOT Agreement is conditional upon receiving regulatory approval. Construction of the power plant will commence following the obtaining of local permits, as well as satisfactory feasibility results following exploration and development activities to be carried out by Ormat.

Jim Gray, Director of TGL, said, “Following the competitive bidding process we ran to find the most suitable project partner, we are pleased to be joining forces with Ormat on this project, the true value of which goes far beyond its economic and commercial success. Through the involvement of Ormat Technologies, and the human, cultural and community values shared by all those involved, this is truly a paradigm shift for New Zealand Maori in the fulfillment of our vision.”

“We thank TGL and the trusts for their confidence in Ormat”, said Lucien Y. Bronicki, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer of Ormat Technologies. “As the first BOT project for Ormat in New Zealand, this will diversify Ormat’s portfolio that today includes operations in the U.S., Guatemala, Nicaragua and Kenya. Upon completion, it will expand our existing portfolio by approximately 8 percent. As with previous developed projects in New Zealand, Ormat will maintain close cooperation with local contractors and engineering firms.”

The new plant will optimize energy utilization by converting the heat of both geothermal steam and brine from geothermal wells into electrical power. Like all Ormat plants in New Zealand, the Tikitere plant will reinject 100 percent of the geothermal fluid by using air cooling without any water consumption. The 100 percent reinjection serves both to sustain the reservoir and produce electrical power with virtually no environmental impact.

Ormat Technologies, Inc. is the only vertically integrated company primarily engaged in the geothermal and recovered energy power business. The Company designs, develops, owns, and operates geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants around the world. Additionally, the Company designs, manufactures, and sells geothermal and recovered energy power units and other power-generating equipment, and provides related services. The Company has more than four decades of experience in the development of environmentally-sound power, primarily in geothermal and recovered-energy generation. Ormat products and systems are covered by 80 U.S. patents. Ormat has engineered and built power plants, that it currently owns or has supplied to utilities and developers worldwide, totaling approximately 1370 MW of gross capacity. Ormat’s current generating portfolio includes energy-based power plants in the United States, Africa, and Central America.

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