Geothermal in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and The Philippines

Wow, the world of geothermal in the Asia/Pacific region is hot this week!

Australia: Innamincka Owners Talk PPA
Australia: Switch from Carbon Fee to Cap and Trade System Accelerated
India: Leaders Support Geothermal
Indonesia: PGE Seeks Flexible Geothermal Loans
Japan: Geothermal Drilling Surveys Commence
Malaysia: Preparations Underway for Apas Kiri Geothermal
New Zealand: Geothermal Commissioning at Contact Energy Ltd.’s Te Mihi Power Station
The Philippines: PSALM Bidding Out Visayas Geothermal Energy
The Philippines: EDC Posts Results, Basic Seeks Partners
The Philippines: Agreement Needed at Tiwi-MakBan

Australia: Innamincka Owners Talk PPA
As its 1-MWe pilot plant continues to exceed expectations, company Geodynamics has created a virtual tour of the Innamincka, Cooper Basin site (Geodynamics.com.au). “The operation of the plant has met or exceeded all planned operational parameters, demonstrating stable and effective control of the closed brine loop, and high reliability and availability of the steam generation and turbine system,” the company said in a statement. The goal now is to find a buyer for the energy, allowing the project to proceed to a larger commercial plant. Santos Ltd. (STO) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) are both interested, chief executive officer Geoff Ward told press. “Those discussions have commenced,” Ward was quoted. “I’ve spoken to those operators, and they are very positive about acting as initial customers for us. They see the interest in this as a long-term supply resource.” The company aims to secure customers within six to 12 months. Peakenergy.blogspot.com.au; Bloomberg.com; Reneweconomy.com.au

Australia: Switch from Carbon Fee to Cap and Trade System Accelerated
By EESI Climate Change News — New Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd plans to accelerate Australia’s transition from a carbon fee to a cap and trade system, aiming to implement market-based emissions trading by 2014, instead of the previously planned changeover in 2015 (see July 2, 2012 issue). “The government is moving in this direction because a floating price takes cost-of-living pressures off Australian families and still protects the environment and acts on climate change,” Rudd said. Currently, Australia’s fixed carbon price is four times higher than carbon prices in Europe. In 2011, former Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced plans for a price on carbon after making campaign promises to not do so. This led to a decrease in popularity and her eventual ouster by Rudd last month before the 2013 national elections. The opposition Liberal Party has pledged to remove the carbon fee altogether. Since the implementation of the carbon fee, Australian carbon dioxide emissions have fallen seven percent (see July 15 issue).  For additional information see: BloombergAFPThe Australian

India: Leaders Support Geothermal
Leaders in India’s energy industries are supportive of geothermal in the country, particulary in Gujarat. “We are proactive on the geothermal front. A draft policy on geothermal energy is ready,” according to R N Sawant, director (geothermal, biomass power) at the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Sawant was speaking to press on the sidelines of the conference on “Issues and Challenges in Geothermal Energy” organised by Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. In pre-feasibility studies, the university identified five potential regions for tapping geothermal energy in Gujarat. “If Gujarat has power generation capacity of 27,000 MW, why can’t it be the first to set up a geothermal project?” said D J Pandian, principal secretary at the state’s energy and petrochemicals department. Indianexpress.com

Indonesia: PGE Seeks Flexible Geothermal Loans
While Indonesian officials have indicated allotment of $125 million in loans toward geothermal development, accessing the loans is proving to be difficult. The loans are offered at lower than usual interest rates and come through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The president and director of Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), a subsidiary of the national oil and gas company Pertamina, described the bureaucratic barriers to press: “To use the funds, there are steps. We would have to go to the parliament first. . . It’s not that we mind, (but) it will not be efficient in terms of time and resources. Meanwhile, we are (incurring) lots of costs during that process.” Don Purka, principal investment specialist in the Asian Development Bank’s climate change unit, said the bank was exploring flexible options. “As Pertamina frequently taps the international capital markets for the commercially viable parts of its operations, this type of blended ADB/CTF loan may provide the flexibility sought by PGE/Pertamina for its higher-risk and less viable geothermal activities that it undertakes on behalf of the government,” Purka said. Trust.org

Japan: Geothermal Drilling Surveys Commence
Idemitsu Kosan Co. (5019), Inpex Corp. (1605) and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. have begun drilling surveys for geothermal power at the Kurikoma national park in Akita prefecture and the Amemasudake area in Hokkaido. Both surveys are in northern Japan. The study will continue through November. The companies then plan to drill exploratory wells through March 2016, and will then decide whether to move on to the next stages. Bloomberg.com

Malaysia: Preparations Underway for Apas Kiri Geothermal
Tawau Green Energy’s geothermal power plant in Apas Kiri is in the site preparation stage. The potential 30-MW generation is expected to come on line in 2016. “This project is a good example of innovation in green energy,” Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili told press. The cost of the project is estimated at RM506 million. Freemalaysiatoday.com; Tgepower.com

New Zealand: Geothermal Commissioning at Contact Energy Ltd.’s Te Mihi Power Station
The Te Mihi geothermal power station, a two-unit 166-MW plant, is being commissioned on New Zealand’s North Island. With the new addition, geothermal energy generation is now over 12,000 MW globally. Contact Energy Ltd heads the project, and the McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd., SNC-Lavalin, and Parsons Brinckerhoff New Zealand joint venture was involved in the construction.

Te Mihi will replace the existing 157-MW Wairakei A and B power stations, constructed in 1958. Wairakei has a 16-MW binary system added in 2005 that will continue to operate. The new Te Mihi plant uses double flash technology and is expected to produce about 25% more power. The net increase from the combined Te Mihi and binary portion of the Wairakei station is 114 MW. Additionally, an evaporative cooling system improves the environmental impact by eliminating condensate discharges to the Waikato River. Powermag.com

The Philippines: PSALM Bidding Out Visayas Geothermal Energy
Selections are being considered by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) for who will own the rights to the geothermal energy generated at the Visayas-based Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants. PSALM put out a bid wherein Independent Power Producer Administrators (IPPAs), distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, and other interest groups can participate and win “strips of energy” that range from 1 MW up to a maximum of 40 MW. PSALM will retain 40 MW. Business.inquirer.net

The Philippines: EDC Posts Results, Basic Seeks Partners 
Two companies in the Philippines made recent headlines showing continued success in the country’s geothermal market.

Energy Development Corp (EDC), the country’s largest geothermal energy producer, recently posted financial results with an overall 33% decrease in net income for the first half of the year as compared to the same period last year. However, the recurring net income was up 8% and was mainly driven by the 112.5-megawatt (MW) Tongonan and 192.5-MW Palinpinon geothermal power plants. “The investments to modernize and rehabilitate our acquisitions are paying off,” EDC President Richard Tantoco said in a release. “Despite the substantial reduction in the revenues of our hydro investment, GCGI’s robust financial and operating results brought EDC’s margins in line with our expectations.”

Meanwhile in Batangas, Basic Energy Corp is moving on the 20-MW potential Mabini geothermal concession. Basic is in talks with both local and foreign potential partners as it seeks to drill one exploration well at $3.8 million before a Department of Energy contract deadline next July. Businessmirror.com.ph; Interaksyon.com

The Philippines: Agreement Needed at Tiwi-MakBan
A geothermal service contract granted to Philippine Geothermal Production Company (PGPC) on April 25 may be canceled, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said. PGPC and Tiwi-MakBan power plant owner AP Renewables Inc. of the Aboitiz group have not agreed on the geothermal resource sales contract, causing complications. “How will I handle their issue? If they cannot agree on it, I will cancel it (RE contract),” Petilla told reporters. Additionally, Secretary Petilla recently participated in the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines’ (NGAP) 10th annual forum.

Aboitiz’s Tiwi plant could be facing internal struggles; the rank and file labor force has filed a notice to strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) of the Department of Labor and Employment for unfair labor practice. Tempo.com.ph; Mb.com.ph; Bicolmail.com

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