High-pressure steam drilled at Puga geothermal project, Ladakh, India

High-pressure steam drilled at Puga geothermal project, Ladakh, India Ladakh Valley, India (source: curiouslog / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 22 Aug 2022

A week after the start of drilling, high-pressure steam at 100 C has already been encountered at the Puga Valley geothermal power project in Ladakh, India.

Drilling has started in preparation of putting up a geothermal power plant at the Puga Valley in Ladakh, India, following the signing of a contract with Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR) as we have reported earlier this month. The most recent update indicates that high-pressure steam at 100 degrees Celsius and discharge rate of “100 tonne geothermal energy per hour.”

With drilling having just started last week, these preliminary results have made the project team optimistic about the viability of the project.

Along with Chumathang, Puga is considered on the most promising geothermal prospects in  India. This site had already been explored in the 1980’s by the Geological Survey of India, but development in earnest only started after Prime Minster Narendra Modi outlined a carbon-neutral program for Ladakhn in 2020.

The project, being developed by the Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC), is potentially the first geothermal power plant in India. For the first phase of the project, the plan is to drill two wells at approximately 1000 meters depth to power a small-scale 1-MW pilot plant. This can be sufficient to provide the power and heating needs of settlements at the nearby areas of Sumdo.

If results are encouraging, development can advance to a higher-capacity demonstration plant and a commercial-scale power plant. This can provide 24/7 clean energy even to far-flung settlements and energy security for a large part of the region.

Source: The Times of India