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Toshiba plans wider role in geothermal beyond turbine sales

Olkaria I Geothermal Plant (Source: Toshiba Press Release)
Alexander Richter 18 Jun 2016

Toshiba is widening its strategy on geothermal energy, looking at playing a role beyond just supplying turbines and also thinks about owning and operating geothermal power plants.

In a recent interview with Nikkei Asia Review, Tsutomu Higashizawa, senior manager of Toshiba’s thermal power unit  global sales, spoke about the opportunities and the role of geothermal energy for the business of Toshiba.

Now, Bloomberg reports on additional details on the future strategy for Toshiba in the geothermal business. According to the report, Toshiba plans to expand “its geothermal power business into operation and maintenance services”. With that drive the company aims to expand its lead in the global market with only a few larger competitors.

The company sees opportunities in the other stages of the value chain of geothermal development, according to Tsutsomu Higashizawa, who is heading Toshiba’s global geothermal business.

There are today three Japanese manufacturers that dominate the market for the geothermal turbines with Toshiba leading ahead of Fuji Electric and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems. With its new strategy, Toshiba is planning to take a larger stake of the cake in the geothermal industry.

The company recently partnered up with Ormat Technologies, a binary systems turbine supplier and energy company.  With that global partnership, Toshiba is trying to be able to supply both flash and binary systems, in competition to Fuji and Mitsubishi Hitachi, who both can provide both.

Bloomberg describes the benefits provided by Ormat in the partnership particularly the experience in project development from funding, drilling to operations, as well as O&M services.

Toshiba is though also looking at owning and operating geothermal power plants.

Source: Bloomberg