Chile awards 17 geothermal exploration licenses

Alexander Richter 2 Feb 2010

The bidding process for geothermal exploration concessions in Chile ended successfully with an allocation of 17 geothermal areas to 9 companies with a planned investment of over U.S. $ 106 million in the next 2 years.

In a release by the Chilean Ministry of Mining late last week it was declared that “the bidding process for geothermal exploration concessions in the country ended successfully with an investment of over U.S. $ 106 million.

The Government, through the Ministry of Mines positions Chile as the main destination of international geothermal investment. The bidding process on 20 leaflets which together have a combined area of more than 700,000 hectares invited major companies to develop geothermal power nationally and internationally.

Minister of Mining, Santiago González, presented the results of the bidding process for geothermal exploration concessions, which was carried forward by the Ministry of Mines in conjunction with the National Energy Commission and Sernageomin.

The Minister Gonzalez pointed out that the bidding process in the interest and challenge by the government to promote the development of geothermal energy in our country and attract international companies to invest in this non-conventional renewable energy in Chile. He added that in this case both objectives are largely achieved.

It further argued that this successful outcome “is a product of the great interest shown by companies specialized in the rubric of geothermal energy companies in the world and companies from other areas of engineering.”

The process involved 9 companies, including 5 subsidiaries of foreign companies with significant experience in the development of geothermal projects worldwide.

Among the 17 areas allocated for geothermal exploration, the companies pledged an investment of U.S. $ 106 million within 2 years, this amount is worth noting the Minister, as the total investment in mineral exploration in Chile is U.S. $ 500 million annually. The concession areas represent a clear investment opportunity for companies that take on the challenge, secured by a clear legal framework that ensures rights and imposes obligations on dealers.

Companies awarded concessions and their respective prospects are:

  • Volcan Tacora, Serviland, Tuyato 4, Hot Rock
  • Licancura 1, Eng Juncalito 1, Energia Andina
  • Licancura 3, Serviland, Juncalito 2, Energia Andina
  • Aucan I Polaris Laguna Verde, Polaris Geothermal
  • San Pablo II, Ormat, Colimapu Colbun
  • Alitar Colbun Calerias, Hot Rock
  • Tuyajito 1, Energia Andina, Necul Eng
  • Tuyajito 2, Energia Andina, Calabozo Eng
  • Tuyajito 3, Energia Andina

Firms awarded

Energy Andina SA: A consortium of exploration and development of geothermal energy, constituted by the state oil company ENAP and Antofagasta Minerals SA mining Currently Andina SA Energy is exploring the geothermal potential of the area Tinguiririca, Region VI. Awarded 5 areas

Geothermal Empresa Nacional SA: A consortium for the development of exploration projects and production of geothermal resources in Chile, consisting of the Italian energy company ENEL and ENAP. Awarded 3 areas

Colbun SA: Colbún is a power generation company operating capital in the Chilean Central Interconnected System. Awarded 2 areas

Hotrock Chile SA: Hotrock Chilean subsidiary of Australian Hot Rock Limited, a company that has the largest surface geothermal exploration in that country. It is one of the leading companies globally in clean energy through the acquisition, development and operation of geothermal projects. Awarded 2 areas

Serviland Minergy SA: Division of mining and energy projects ECM Ingeniería SA Chilean-owned company that has investments in coal mining projects and iron. Together with a Chilean crew and abroad are presented as proponents for the first time in geothermal. Awarded 2 areas

Polaris Energy Chile Ltda: Chilean subsidiary of Polaris Geothermal Inc. Company listed on the Canadian TSX (now owned by Ram Power Corp.). Today is doomed to develop geothermal energy projects in Latin America. Polaris is the owner of the San Jacinto geothermal concession in Nicaragua Tizate project which involves about $ 270 million investment. Awarded 2 areas

Ormat Andina SA: Representative in Chile of Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: “ORA”), a company dedicated to vertically integrate the entire process involving geothermal energy from the exploration fields to the installation of electric power plants from geothermal resource . It has offices in various countries including New Zealand, Turkey, USA, Iceland, Nicaragua, El Salvador, China, Japan and the Philippines. 1 area is allocated.

Companies not successful in this bidding round were Magma Energy and Origin Energy.

In addition to the concessions given out in this round to the companies mentioned above, the Minister pointed out that the following investments are expected from other geothermal projects in the country.

Leasing of San Gregorio: Given to the company GGE Chile SpA, a company backed by American and New Zealand capital, which plans to develop a project exploiting a geothermal reservoir identified during exploration of the issue by means of exploration wells for the installation of an electrical project at least 75 MW, with committed investment of U.S. $ 226,130,000.

Leasing of Laguna del Maule: Issued to ENERCO company, a subsidiary of Magma Energy Corp., Canadian listed company, which will proceed to develop a power project at least 50 MW would be installed in two phases over a period of 6 years, with committed investment of U.S. $ 246,000,000. This project is based on the exploitation of the geothermal resource identified during the exploration of the issue by means of exploration wells that demonstrated the existence of a geothermal reservoir in the concession area”

Source: Chilean Ministry of Mining