Asia-Pacific geo energy news: Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines

Geothermal updates from the Asia-Pacific regional markets.

*Indonesia: Chevron and Star Energy to Develop New Plants
*Japan: Five Megawatts for Kokonoe, Oita
*New Zealand: Ohaaki Plant Granted Continuing Operations; Study Looks at Geo Minerals Ownership Rights
*Philippines: Typhoon Damages Geothermal Area

In Indonesia, six new geothermal power plants are envisioned in agreements signed by PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) with Chevron Geothermal Indonesia Ltd and Star Energy Geothermal Pte Ltd. Chevron will develop four of the projects: Hululai, Tambang Sawah, Sungai Penuh and Semurup. Star Energy will develop three units at the Karaha Bodas geothermal site.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. will begin building their 5-MW geothermal power station in March 2014, with the Kokonoe, Oita plant expected to open about a year after construction starts. The site is in southwestern Japan.

In New Zealand, Contact Energy announced this month it was granted geothermal resource consents to continue its operations at the Ohaaki geothermal power plant for another 35 years.

Also in New Zealand, University of Waikato law professor Barry Barton has received a $69,000 grant for a geothermal study. Barton will look at the ownership possibilities of rights to minerals found in geothermal fluids under existing laws. The grant is part of a two-year $400,000 GNS Science project, “From Waste to Wealth: Commercial Recovery of Products from Geothermal Fluids.”

No small piece of the devestation caused in the Philippines by a recent typhoon is the damage to the main power plants and transmission lines of the Unified Leyte field and the surrounding area. The plants are inoperable for the time being. Before the disaster, the units together had a 650-MW capacity. New York Times has a chilling piece about the victims of climate change.

Damaged geothermal equipment includes: Cooling towers of the Malitbog, Tongonan, and Mahanagdong power plants; part of the cooling system of the Upper Mahiao plant; and control systems of Tongonan, Mahanagdong and Upper Mahiao power plants.

Another affect is that following reports of the damages, EDC said it would no longer pursue its bid for further contracted power generating capacity at the complex. “ULGEI has written Psalm that it cannot accept the award of the winning bids as the physical and economic conditions underlying the bidding process and the IPPA administration agreements required to be executed pursuant thereto have been dramatically altered by the severe and widespread destruction caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda,” EDC told the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The Geothermal Energy Association staff sends its regards and recommends contacting the Philippines Embassy for ways to help.

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