KUTh Energy estimates show potential for 80MW plant on Efate, Vanuatu

KUTh Energy estimates show potential for 80MW plant on Efate, Vanuatu Erakor Island Resort, Efate, Vanuatu (source: flickr/PhillipC creative commons)
Alexander Richter 5 Oct 2010

Australian KUTh Energy announces results of an resource assessments of the company's project on the island of Efate, Republic of Vanuatu, which predicts a potential power plant capacity of 83MW with a 50% probability.

Australian KUTh Energy (ASX:KEN) announces results of an independent assessment of the northern part of the company’s geothermal tenements on the island of Efate, Republic of Vanuatu.

A separate ASX release containing a summary of the resource estimate in accordance with the Australian Geothermal Reporting Code has been made earlier today. A full report was prepared by Sinclair Knight Merz Limited (SKM) of Auckland, New Zealand and estimates a mean Inferred Geothermal Resource of 100,000 MW years of thermal energy or 3,290 PJ relative to an assumed 80 centigrade brine reinjection temperature.

This is the first Inferred Geothermal Resource identified for Vanuatu and is an important step for KUTh in pioneering its strategy of replacing high cost diesel power generation with indigenous geothermal resources in the Pacific region.

Three geothermal target zones have been individually assessed, in accordance with the criteria of the Australian Geothermal Reporting Code and Modifying Factors. These are presented as follows:

A value of probability P10, P50 or P90 indicates that there is a 10%, 50% or 90% probability that the resource contains that amount of heat. Based on a P90 scenario the report concluded that the three targets combined have sufficient energy that if recovered and converted may be sufficient to generate 83 net MW of electrical energy for at least 30 years, assuming a media recovery factor of 20% and a temperature-dependent conversion efficiency typical of commercially available binary plant, averaging about 11%. KUTh draws comfort in the fact that even using a P90 value the project conservatively will deliver the power needed for start-up and leaves potential upside for future development.

In commenting on the SKM report, KUTh Energy’s Managing Director David McDonald said: “This is a very positive result which suggests there is enough energy at Takara for development of an initial 4MW net power plant to supply the initial base-load of Port Vila, Vanuatu’s capital city. We now enter the exciting phase of project implementation and we have laid many of the building blocks for this to be accelerated. We are well advanced in the identification of a drilling rig to implement the next stage and our early engagement with the local community, Government, the Energy Regulator, funders and the Vanuatu electricity utility will hold us in good stead as we now move this project forward. We have an opportunity to create a platform in Vanuatu to capture future energy growth. We believe exponential growth will come from pent-up demand suppressed by current high cost and unstable diesel pricing and from the new development that will take place along the recently upgraded coastal road that circles the island.”

Source: KUTh Energy release via e-mail