Geo40 to start commercial production of silica at Ohaaki geothermal plant
New Zealand-based Geo40 Ltd has announced it is about to start the commercial production of high-grade silica extracted from geothermal fluids at the Ohaaki geothermal power plant of Contact Energy in New Zealand.
New Zealand-based Geo40 Ltd. has announced that it is starting the commercial extraction of silica from geothermal fluids at the Ohaaki geothermal power plant of Contact Energy and Ngati Tahu Tribal Lands Trust this month.
The silica produced will be sold to “manufacturers for use in everyday consumer goods, such as paint, providing an environmentally-sound source of silica that would otherwise require amounts of carbon-intensive energy to make. The production potential for high grade silica is estimated at up to 10,500 tonnes a year, with mostly foreign buyers.”, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.
This new operation is a blessing for Contact Energy as it helps the company in removing silica that builds up in pipes at the plant, helping to reduce equipment maintenance cost, while also making it possible to extract more heat from geothermal fluids for more efficiency in the operation of the geothermal power plant.
“Ohaaki’s geothermal fluid enables us access to a valuable mineral without harming the environment,” said Geo40 chief executive John Lea. “The beauty of our technology is that nature — the geothermal reservoir — has already done most of the work for us, by dissolving the naturally occurring silica. Our process extracts the silica and turns it into silica products that will be exported around the world.”
Plans are already progressing on expanding the partnership, with the parties investigating the possibility of processing up to 10 times as much fluid per day.
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Source: NZ Herald