Australia, Japan, The Philippines projects moving; New Zealand touts native model

Testing at Habanero, Australia is successful. Japan begins its Kurikoma National Park survey. A New Zealand leader touts native-based development. Projects are moving forward in the Philippines.

Australia: Initial Habanero Testing Successful
Japan: Survey at Kurikoma National Park to Begin
New Zealand: Local Leader Touts Native-based Development
The Philippines: EDC, Biliran, and Chevron Moving Forward

Australia: Initial Habanero Testing Successful
Geodynamics Limited provided an update at the halfway point of its 100-day test program at the 1-MWe Habanero Pilot Plant recently commissioned near Innamincka in South Australia.  During testing the plant has been operating at closed loop flows of 15–16 kg/s, with a well-head temperature of 200°C.  From the update, tests performed to date include:

• Turbine test run – Initial steam generation and turbine runs have been successful. Following some minor adjustments, the Distributed Control System has been functioning well, integrating the brine loop and steam loop to establish stable plant operations.
• Brine reinjection loop reliability and performance testing – Key areas monitored include the performance of the reinjection pump and seal. The closed loop performance over the first month has been in line with expectations with closed loop system flows achieved in line with modelled predictions.
• Initiation of tracer testing – A tracer test has been initiated to measure reservoir size and other characteristics. Results of the test are expected over the coming months as the brine passes through the reservoir. Geodynamics.com.au

Japan: Survey at Kurikoma National Park to Begin
Back in December, Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. said it would be taking its first foray into geothermal energy in a development study along with Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Inpex Corp., at a location in Hokkaido and Akita Prefecture. Now, local approval is granted and the survey is expected to start this month at the Kurikoma national park in Yuzawa city, says a Bloomberg article quoting Idemitsu in Japanese press.

Regulations for projects at national parks have relaxed following the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster.  In our March 1 2013 newsletter we wrote: “geothermal projects are taking off in Japanese national parks. There is already a survey for a plant in Kurikoma Quasi-National Park in Yuzawa, and another survey slated for the spring will propose one in Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido. Although there was initial opposition to building plants near the national parks, Locals near the Daisetsuzan National Park welcomed the plant, hoping to reuse the discharged hot water from the plants to heat public facilities.” Bloomberg.com, Geo-energy.org

New Zealand: Local Leader Touts Native-based Development
Drawing on examples of Maori innovation such as ancient ocean migration as well as more modern examples of innovation, Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples supports native Maori New Zealanders as the drivers of geothermal development in the country. Sharples keynoted the Maori Geothermal Symposium this month. Rotoruadailypost.co.nz

The Philippines: EDC, Biliran, and Chevron Moving Forward
The Philippines boasts a strong position in global geothermal development. For Energy Development Corporation (EDC), a Philippine geothermal company and one of the largest in the world, one of the next steps will be conducting viability reviews to improve operations at its domestic fields, according to GNS Science who will be conducting the reviews. “This will greatly help us in the reservoir management for our existing operating fields and identify and eliminate costs, complexity and risks,” Richard Tantoco, EDC’s chief operating officer told press (Koreanewsonline.blogspot.com). “Over the next four years we plan to drill 75 new geothermal wells.”

Meanwhile Biliran Geothermal Inc. is preparing to drill to confirm the geothermal resource on Biliran island in the third quarter of this year. “If they confirm the resource based on the prognosis, then they will start to develop the geothermal field,” Mario C. Marasigan, the department’s director for Renewable Energy Management Bureau told local press (Bworldonline.com). “So after, maybe at least six months, they can decide if they will pursue the development of the project. That’s when we expect the decision,” according to Marasigan.

The president of Chevron’s Philippine group, Antonio Yee, recently indicated via media statement that the company is encouraged to increase investments in geothermal resource exploration in the country. Ph.news.yahoo.com

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