Greenearth Energy one receipient of the Australian geothermal drilling grant

Alexander Richter 14 Dec 2009

Greenearth Energy has been awarded one of the geothermal drilling grants given out by the Australian government and has secured the Weatherford Drilling Rig, which is planned to commence drilling in the second half of 2010.

Based on a company announcement, “Greenearth Energy (ASX:GER) has added another string to its bow with the Australian Government awarding the company AU$7 million (US$ 6.4m) for its Geelong Geothermal Power Project from round two of the Geothermal Drilling Program.

Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson revealed five geothermal energy projects would receive Australian Government funding of AU$35 million from round two of the AU$50 million Geothermal Drilling Program.

Following the announcement, shares in Greenearth rose 2% to 25c.

The Geothermal Drilling Program will support Proof-of-Concept projects and help establish Australia as a world leader in geothermal technology development.

This Australian Government funding for the flagship Project’s Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept, comes only a week after the Victorian Government, under the Energy Technology Innovation Strategy for large scale, pre-commercial, sustainable energy demonstration projects, awarded Greenearth Energy $5 million for the Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept and, upon successful completion of Stage 1, a further $20 million for the Stage 2, 12MWe geothermal demonstration power plant.

Greenearth Energy’s Geelong Geothermal Power Project Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept is in a unique position, being supported by both State and Federal funding totalling $12 million.

Managing director Mark Miller said to now have the Australian Government’s support for the company’s Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept underpinned the company’s flagship Victorian geothermal power project.

“To have Australian Government and State Government technical and commercial experts independently asses our project and separately award grants for both stages of the Geelong Geothermal Power Project confirms our view of the merit and potential of this substantial base load, renewable energy project opportunity,” Mr Miller said.

“We have had stellar support for our project from both industry and community of the Greater Geelong region from day one. We have been greatly assisted; we thank them all and look forward to working hard to deliver these communities and industries alike a clean, base load, renewable energy alternative.

“With such unanimous endorsement in our project we look forward to achieving our immediate priority of securing the remaining funding to commence the Geelong Geothermal Project’s Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept as soon as possible.”

Greenearth Energy has secured the Weatherford Drilling International 2,000 HP Rig 828 for the company’s Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept drilling which is planned to commence in the second half of 2010.

Other companies, including Hot Rock, Geodynamics, GRE Geothermal WA1 Torrens Energy, also received the Australian Government funding through the Geothermal Drilling Program

The program will support more than $180 million worth of investment in the “exciting” new clean energy technology. In addition, geothermal energy was a big winner from the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, with two projects worth approximately $535 million receiving Australian Government funding of more than $150 million.

Geoscience Australia estimates that if just 1% of Australia’s geothermal energy was extracted it could supply Australia’s total annual energy requirements for 26,000 years.”

Source: Company release via Proactive Investors