Ormat Technology plans new production well at Puna plant in Hawaii

Alexander Richter 4 Feb 2010

Ormat Technologies provides an update on its Puna geothermal project and the decrease in steam supply. It plans to attempt a cleaning of wells, but also plans a new production well.

In a release today, “Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA) issued an update on its 30 MW Puna (“Puna”) power plant in Hawaii. Puna is currently operating at approximately 17 MW as a result of a decline of the steam supply to the power plant. This decline is resulting in a monthly revenue decrease of less than $1 million based on current energy rates. Energy rates for the Puna power plant are based on the short run avoided cost of the local utility and are calculated monthly.

The plant generated 25 MW following the completion of repair work on production wells in the fourth quarter of 2009 and was expected to recover to approximately 30 MW. However, the actual steam supply gradually declined and in January 2010 the plant reached a generation level of 17 MW.

Our analysis of the current situation determined that the decline is not related to the reservoir parameters. We believe the issue is a wellbore restriction that reduces the flow from the existing wells to the power plant. We are in the process of implementing a quick repair through a chemical cleaning of the wells. If this is not successful we will have to perform a mechanical cleaning, which will be more expensive and take more time. An update will be provided once we have further information.

In addition, we plan to start drilling a new production well in the next few days. The drilling work of the new well and its connection to the power plant is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2010. This plan is intended to increase the available geothermal fluid and enable the power plant to generate at full capacity. The estimated cost to execute this plan is approximately $11 million.”

Source: company announcement via PR Newswire