LaGeo restarting exploration efforts in El Salvador
Developer and operator LaGeo is to start geothermal exploration in El Salvador again to find new geothermal resources for power generation, having allocated $41 million for exploration/ development in 2012.
El Salvador based geothermal developer and operator LaGeo, “has decided to start geothermal exploration in El Salvador in order to find new geothermal wells for power generation. After a pause of several years, LaGeo has allocated USD 41 million for this purpose in 2012. The investment plan includes exploration, recovery and maintenance of the wells. The main focus areas of the exploration are the fields of Chinameca and St. Vincent.
The development of these new geothermal areas are part of a long-term strategy to achieve as much as 40% of domestic power demand from geothermal sources by 2021. The exploration of new areas takes time, however, so even though these activities will start in 2012, it will take several years for the new wells to reach full scale power generation capability. LaGeo is the only company in the country’s mixed economy that has permission to export power generated from geothermal sources to the national power grid. LaGeo was created in 2001, as a public-private ownership venture for Investments Energy, a subsidiary of the Executive Hydroelectric Commission of Lempa River, and Enel Geothermal, subsidiary of Italian utility and developer Enel. The companies have been in a legal dispute, which has been resolved in mid-2011, with Enel remaining an investor in the Salvadoran geothermal market.”