Ram Power 36 MW San Jacinto extension to be online in December 2012

Ram Power 36 MW San Jacinto extension to be online in December 2012 San Jacinto-Tizate, geothermal power plant, Ram Power/ Polaris Geothermal Nicaragua (source: Ram Power)
Alexander Richter 6 Nov 2012

Ram Power's San Jacinto-Tizate Phase II extension is being constructed on time and on budget and the company expects the unit to be in commercial operation in December 2012.

Geothermal development and operation company Ram Power “announced that the Phase II, 36 MW net expansion continues to be constructed on time and on budget, with construction activities 95% complete, power plant critical component engineering 100% complete and plant engineering 99% complete. The Phase II main transformer was successfully energized and plant pre-commissioning activities are ongoing. The unit is expected to be in commercial operation in December 2012.

The Company and its resource consultant, Sinclair Knight Merz (“SKM”), continue to investigate ways to further expand the resource of the Project in order to maximize the overall project returns. As a result, the Company and SKM have developed short-term and medium-term resource production enhancement plans to increase the steam capacity for the Project.

The Company and SKM are currently estimating that initial total steam availability for the Project will be in the 500-530 tonnes/hour range. This estimate is based on current production trends for Phase I of the Project and field monitoring results indicating the stabilization of the reservoir pressure following the substantial increase of production associated with the commercial operation of Phase I. A recent report from the Phase II lenders resource consultant, GeothermEx Inc., is consistent with this estimate. At this initial steam availability level initial electricity production is estimated to be 60-64MW net for the Project once Phase II is in commercial operation.

The Company is currently executing its short-term production enhancement plan with expected completion by the end of the year. The 2012 Plan (the “2012 Plan”) includes, among other things, the conversion of well SJ 6-1 from an injection well to a production well and use of well SJ 12-1 as an injection well. The successful completion of the 2012 Plan is estimated to increase steam availability by 30-40 tonnes/hour, raising the total steam availability to 530-570 tonnes/hour, which would increase estimated initial electricity production approximately 4-5 MW net for the Project once Phase II is in commercial operation.

The Company plans to reassess the production capacity of the San Jacinto steamfield in the first several months after Phase II is placed in commercial operation. During this period, additional geo-scientific and reservoir data collection and analysis will permit the Company to make decisions regarding further production enhancement activities in order to optimize long term reservoir management and utilization. The Company and SKM have tentatively determined, under the medium-term production enhancement plan that deepening, forking and perforating the casing of well SJ 9-3 is the highest priority option for production enhancement based on technical, cost and operational factors. These activities are estimated to increase the steam availability at San Jacinto by approximately 70-110 tonnes/hour, enabling the Project to run at its full 72MW net capacity, and to be funded primarily from the Project’s major maintenance reserves established under the Phase I and II Credit Facilities.

Shuman Moore, Ram Power’s President and CEO, stated, “I am proud of the Ram and PENSA teams for their continued success in completing critical milestones for our Company, especially over the last several months. The tariff increase provides a critical level of margin allowing the Company to focus on the completion of the Phase II expansion at San Jacinto, and diligently execute its steamfield improvement plans while meeting all its loan covenants.”

Source: Company release via Stockhouse