News

Paralana geothermal project in South Australia officially launched

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 9 Aug 2009

The joint venture geothermal power project at Paralana in South Australia, a joint effort by Petratherm, Beach Petroleum and TRUenergy, was officially launched.

Reported in Australia, the joint venture geothermal power project at Paralana in South Australia, a joint effort by Petratherm, Beach Petroleum and TRUenergy, was officially launched.

Reported is that the “54 m high drill rig dominating the landscape of the South Australian outback has already drilled more than 1000m into the earth, seeking out the hot rocks that many hope will create a clean, plentiful and constant source of energy.

The joint venture partners of the Paralana geothermal energy project, near the Beverley uranium mine 600km north of Adelaide, hope to start producing commercial geothermal energy by 2011 from hot water and steam created by pumping water into the hot rocks deep below. Yesterday the project’s joint venture partners — Petratherm, Beach Petroleum and TRUenergy — officially launched the project, which is seen as an example of the potential of geothermal power.

Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said geothermal energy provided clean base-load power and was potentially an important contributor to Australia’s energy mix in a carbon-constrained world.

“Geoscience Australia estimates that if 1 per cent of Australia’s geothermal energy was extracted, it would equate to 26,000 times Australia’s total annual energy consumption,” he said.

The Paralana project is in the proof-of-concept stage, with the $40 million rig imported from Dubai still to drill a further 3km down to reach its target.

A second well will then be drilled, creating a “heat exchanger” that will heat water circulated through the hot rocks to more than 200C.

Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis said the company planned to set up a small power station when it completed drilling next year to supply power to the Beverley uranium mine.

The company has also proposed building a transmission line to Port Augusta and/or BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine.

Mr Kallis said it was hoped the Paralana project would be able to supply power to the national grid by 2015. He said a 260-megawatt transmission line would need to be built, which would allow the project to provide enough power to supply “several hundreds of thousands of homes”.

He said a 260MW transmission line would cost about $170m.

“We believe we can afford that cost as part of the project and still be commercially viable,” he said.”

Source: The Australian