Bolivia to start drilling at Laguna Colorada geothermal project in 2019

Laguna Colorada salt lake, Bolivia (source: flickr/ Nico Kaiser, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 28 Mar 2018

Drilling for the Laguna Colorada geothermal power project is now planned to start in 2019, as reported by Bolivian media.

Reported this morning, drilling activities for the 100 MW Laguna Colorada geothermal power project in Bolivia are scheduled to start in 2019.

The Laguna Colorada project located in the Southeast of the country near the border to Chile. A feasibility study for the project was done by Japanese West JEC in 2010.

The project is by the national energy company ENDE, which has done more than 70 studies to establish potential, and development targets. The overall resources is considered to be significant with 100-250 MW in early development phases.

In 2012 to 2013, in technical cooperation with Japan, ENDE conducted well tests with wells drilled in the 1980s and 1990s. The altitude, weather, low and high temperatures are challenging for any work on the project site. These conditions provide challenges for any company to work on the project.

The geothermal reservoir has high enthalpy with high fractures and saturated at a pressure of 70 bars and 250 degrees Celsius.

For the pilot plant a 5 MW installation is planned, which could for further development provide electric power for drilling of additional wells on site and would help develop the project in steps to a total capacity of 100 MW.

In our last update on the project back in April 2017, we reported that it is planned to drill additional 25 wells. The project requires a a connection to the national grid to be built between 2018 and 2020 starting at Laguna Colorada to the substation with a distance of 170 km. The first 50 MW of the plant are to operate in 2020 and additional 50 MW to start operation in 2023. With the current update, that time line seems a bit optimistic at last.

Source: BN Americas, Further details on the project via ENDE