Grupo CEL kicks off Chinameca geothermal project in El Salvador

Chinameca project start, San Miguel, El Salvador (source: Grupo CEL)
Alexander Richter 28 Aug 2015

Grupo CEL has kick started the Chinameca geothermal projects with the drilling start of the first wells in San Miguel, El Salvador. The project is expected to have an investment cost of $330 million.

CEL Group kick started today the Chinameca geothermal power project with the start of drilling of a well on wellpad CHI-6A, in San Miguel, El Salvador.

The Chinameca project is important for El Salvador, as it represents a large project with an investment of over $330 million for the different stages of development; pre-feasibility, feasibility, development and implementation, said Arch. David Antonio López Villafuerte, president of the CEL Group.

The Chinameca Geothermal Field has a size of around 99 sq. kilomters, and is located in the hills The Limbo and The Pacayal, south of the city of Chinameca, in the department of San Miguel.

The project has a number of wellpads, with CHI-6 being one of many used for drilling the wells for the project. The wells are expected to have a temperature between 240 and 260 degrees Celsius; drilled at a depth between 1,800 and 2,000 meters.

At the stage of well development, the CEL Group hopes to start with a generation of 8-10 MW by 2017, and complement it with other geothermal turbines and reach an installed capacity of around 50 MWe by 2019. The investment for the construction of the platform, access roads and all involved in drilling a deep exploration well it is $7.5 million.

In feasibility stage of a geothermal field, the wells drilled are xploration wells and depending on the strategy used for field development wells are divided into producers and reinjectors wells. The production wells will provide the steam to the plant for electricity generation. Reinjection wells will pump the water back down into the reservoir.

The Chinameca project plans to drill up to five wells, three for production and two for reinjection. For additional surface analysis studies which were conducted by geophysicists and technicians Salvadorans, who receive support from auxiliary hired directly in the municipality of Chinameca were made.

When the project will produce power, LaGeo will increase its share in the country’s electricity mix from today 22% to 29%.

Source: CEL