Ecuador initiates exploration work at 50 MW Chachimbiro geothermal project

Pictures from drilling preparation on Chachimbiro site, Ecuador (source: Government release)
Alexander Richter 3 Sep 2017

Drilling work is about to start for the 50 MW Chichimbara geothermal project in Ecuador, estimated with a potential capacity of 50 MW. This is Ecuador's first geothermal project.

An important milestone for Ecuador’s energy market has been marked with the start of the development of the country’s first geothermal project at Chachimbiro.  Drilling equipment has now been mobilized to the the project site.

Therefore, in accordance with the schedule established with Mitsubishi Materials Techno Corp , a Japanese consultant contracted by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency, which finances the project through a non-reimbursable technical cooperation), partial arrival of 91 loads were recorded from Colombia and several cities in Ecuador between August 10 and 24, the same ones that have been successfully located on the platform and once the entire structure and the camp have been set up, drilling activities will begin to determine the conditions of the resource in the subsoil for purposes of electricity generation.

The operation was supported by the highest authority of the city, the accompaniment of the National Police, Traffic Agents and the assistance of the Urcuquí Fire Department, given the unprecedented event in this canton that houses this important resource.

As this is the first geothermal drilling operation in the country, all the actions developed to date, since the delegation granted by the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, efforts have been made in various fields of geosciences to determine the drilling site, as well as , it has been possible to face challenges of civil engineering in the improvement of the way of access and the construction of the platform that will house the drill and all its equipment during approximately 4 months of uninterrupted work.

In addition, once the work has begun, the transfer of technical-scientific knowledge for young Ecuadorian professionals can be made through the guide of Mexican and Japanese experts who, supported by the knowledge of companies that have extensive experience in this field, will guarantee that Ecuador can count not only with this valuable energy source but also to generate capacities for the use of this resource in other areas of the country.

The results, at the end of this exploratory drilling phase of the Chachimbiro Geothermal Project, which is in the Advanced Prefeasibility Studies Stage, will determine the way forward for the development stage of the geothermal field and subsequent construction of an electric generation plant, with an estimated average power of 50 MW (megawatts) , contributing to the diversification of the current energy matrix by providing strong, clean and environmentally friendly energy.

Source: Government release