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Developing geothermal energy on Vanuatu, Pacific – key areas of interest

Erakor Island Resort, Efate, Vanuatu (source: flickr/PhillipC creative commons)
Alexander Richter 13 Dec 2017

A recent overview provides details on the potential areas for geothermal development on the Pacific island group of Vanuatu.

In an interesting fact sheet we stumbled across today, an overview is given on the key areas of interest for potential geothermal development on the Pacific island group of Vanuatu.

The document shows an overview by areas based on their development potential.

The islands of Vanuatu are then categorized in:

  • Areas under conservation considerations:use limited to natural state, geoparks and tourism;
  • Areas with direct use potential: use limited to natural state, minor heat mining possible from shallow aquifers;
  • Areas with limited development potential: possible power generation with small-scale (kW) or scale appropriate to developments. Drilling would be required and is somewhat technically challenging;
  • Areas with development potential: providing large scale development (MW) opportunities with required drilling and some technical challenges faced.

The sheet then provides an overview and highlights the islands of Vanuato and their possible role based on the aforementioned categories.

Only one island is seen as having devleopment potential, and that is the island of Efate. We reported in the past on Efate, where Australian KuTh Energy saw a development potential of up to 80 MW several years back.

In the report it says that “previous work has delineated a resource of 2-10 MW on the Northern Coast of Efate. The Takara project had been assessed by the World Bank as having a moderate to high potential. Development has stalled due to the high cost of drilling however recent steps taken by the government have been taken to increase ease of business for geothermal developers. The document mentions a possible tender process for the Takara project overseen by the World Bank, but we have not been able to verify this. Prior developers Geodynamics (at that point it had taken over KuTh Energy) walked away from the project in 2016., however they did locate a a site for drilling the first exploration well with a P90 of 9.6 MW.

Other areas of interest (but for limited development) are the islands of Vanua Lava, Pentecost (Raga) and Tanna.

Vanuatu_potential2017

Another overview on geothermal development (status as of 2015) can be found here below:

 

Source: Simon Bloomberg, the Department of Geology and Mines unit, Vanuatu, and VSA, NZ via Bradley Ilg via LinkedIn