Chile to tender 20 geothermal exploration licenses
Movement in Chilean geothermal development with the announcement of a tender for 20 geothermal exploration licenses, mostly in the North of the country.
As reported today by Wall Street Journal, there is movement in Chilean geothermal development with the announcement of a tender for 20 geothermal exploration licenses, mostly in the North of the country.
The complete news announcement by Chile’s Ministry for Mining can be found here (in Spanish). Complete maps with the locations of the license acreage can be found in this presentation (1.4 MB pdf document) by the ministry
News service Reuters writes: “The Chilean government on Monday invited bids for for geothermal exploration blocks mostly in the country’s mine-rich north as part of a push to diversify its energy matrix and rely less on fuel imports.
“There is significant geothermal potential in our country,” Mines Minister Santiago Gonzalez told reporters, launching the initiative. He said estimates suggested that geothermal output could exceed 3,500 megawatts.
Most of the 20 blocks up for grabs are in the north, the heartland of Chile’s energy-hungry mining industry. The government estimates companies who bid successfully will likely have to invest anything between US$500,000 and US$3 million per block in exploration costs.
Geothermal energy is energy from heat sources deep in the earth.
Chile was buffeted by an energy squeeze last year after a drought hit hydroelectric output, Argentina restricted natural gas exports and the cost of oil and diesel imports soared, raising the specter of energy rationing.
The squeeze has now passed. The government does not expect to face any energy supply disruptions or rationing in 2009, thanks to new power projects and lower demand, but is seeking to foster alternative, renewable energy sources.”
Source: Wall Street Journal, Reuters