GeoGlobal announces discovery of geothermal field in Chile
GeoGlobal Energy Chile announced the discovery of a commercial geothermal field during the exploration of San Gregorio, in the region of Caracautin, IX Region. This is the first discovery of its kind in Chile in the last 40 years.
Reported already earlier this month on Green Momentum, this is something of significance for the development of geothermal development in Chile.
“The president of the GeoGlobal Energy Chile (GGE), Greg Raash, announced the discovery of a commercial geothermal field during the exploration of San Gregorio, in the region of Caracautin, IX Region. This is the first discovery of its kind in Chile in the last 40 years.
The perforation work at Tolguaca-1 began the first week of March, uncovering the geothermal field with a proven temperature of 275 centigrade, the highest temperature registered in Chile to this date.
According to Raasch, the discovery will allow them to move forward with the new geothermal project. The company is considering the construction of a 75MW plant, equivalent to the energy consumption in the regions of Temuco and Valdivia. It ie estimated that the construction will require an investment of 250 million dollars during the next 3 years.
At the end of the year, the company will begin the perforation of two or three large-diameter wells. The investment needed to develop this part of the project is expected to eventually reach 15 or 20 million dollars; however it will allow the company to properly dimension the plant to be built around the geothermal field.
In 2010 the company will complete the environmental studies required by the authorities prior to commencing this type of projects. Given that there are no communities near San Gregorio that could be affected by this project, it is expected that the study will become a formality before beginning the construction work.
The company projects the beginning of the construction to take place during the summer of 2011, which means energy generation will not be feasible before 2012.
The strategic objective of the company is to develop 500 MW during the next five years. This represents a production capacity greater than that of the plants at Pangue and Ralco combined.
GGE’s financial partner Mighty River Power is one of the largest utility companies and geothermal energy producers in New Zealand. It has invested more than US$ 750 million in the development of geothermal energy plants during the last five years alone.”
Source: Green Momentum