International roundup: Geothermal in Nevada, Iran, Rwanda, Thailand, Armenia and more

This post brings you geothermal headlines from Nevada, North Dakota, Iran, Kenya, Rwanda, Nicaragua, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand, Armenia, Iceland and Turkey.

Twitter photos from the GEA National Geothermal Summit in Reno, Nevada

Click below to read this week’s international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*Nevada: Geothermal Helps Make Churchill the Top County in Taxable Sales
In taxable sales for Nevada counties, geothermal power helped Churchill County to be the top performer ($31.96 million) in March. County comptroller Alan Kalt told press, “The DFA (Dairy Farmers of America) and Patua Geothermal Plant tax abatements significantly impacted the actual level of increase from the prior year.”

*North Dakota: Wastewater Geothermal Pilot to Fire Up
The University of North Dakota / Continental Resources Inc. wastewater-to-geothermal pilot project is set to fire up in the coming weeks. Project lead Will Gosnold told press the project cost about US$3.5 million and, if successful, new geothermal units could be constructed at a cost of US$250,000 each. The two generators on site have a combined 250 kilowatt hour capacity, enough power to meet the annual needs of about 300 homes.

Africa and the Middle East

*Iran: Geothermal Turbines Acquired
Iran has acquired turbines from Italy for its first geothermal power plant, planned for the northwestern city of Meshkin Shahr. According to local press the project is scheduled to begin producing power within two years.

*Kenya: KenGen Identifies Another 33 MW Geothermal at Olkaria
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has identified another 33 MW at its Olkaria field, this time at Olkaria Wells OW-923 Trio. Geothermal Development director Eng. Abel Rotich told press, “It is not every day that we strike 33 MW from a single pad. The normal average capacity from one well is 5 MW. This means that we needed up to 6 wells to attain similar capacity. We have literally saved half of the drilling costs for 30 MW with this single pad.” He added, “This development means that we have guaranteed up to 22% of steam towards the financing of the project. We are currently negotiating with the project’s consultants to hasten the progress of tendering for the EPC Contractors while funding is also being discussed with various development partners. The new well-pad, which is among the biggest in the country, firmly positions Kenya as a major geothermal power producer globally and helps to meet Kenya’s growing demand for electricity as the country implements the Vision 2030 of becoming an industrialized economy.”

*Rwanda: GRMF Application for Kinigi Completed
The Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) of Rwanda has applied to the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Fund (GRMF) for exploration drilling in Kinigi, Emmanuel Kamanzi, the EDCL Managing Director told local press. Kinigi is one of four identified geothermal prospect areas and is located in the north.


*Nicaragua: Renewables Incentives Extended to 2018
Nicaragua has extended renewables incentives for companies which already have investments to 2018. In 2014, geothermal accounted for 15.25% of power generation in Nicaragua.

Asia & The Pacific

*Indonesia: Gov’t to Increase Renewables and Map Geothermal Areas
This week Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman was quoted that the use of new and renewable energy will be increased to 19% by 2019. As part of that, he told local press, the government would map out areas with geothermal potential.

*Indonesia: Japanese Company Backs Sarulla Geothermal
The Japanese firm Inpex Corp. has acquired 49% of PT Medco Power Indonesia, a unit of Medco with 37.25% stake in the 330-MW Sarulla geothermal project. Kyushu Electric Power Co., Itochu Corp. and Ormat Technologies Inc. are the other Sarulla partners. Inpex is a worldwide oil and gas exploration and production company and plans to continue exploring renewable energy opportunities and this is their first geothermal energy project.

*New Zealand: Former University Program Finds Success as Private Company
International Earth Sciences has turned a profit six months after the former University of Auckland institute was transferred to private hands. The company does exploratory geothermal analysis and has picked contracts for geothermal with the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission and the Michoacan State government.

*Thailand: Company to Invest in Geothermal
Bangchak Petroleum Plc (BCP) expects to seal an investment in an Indonesian geothermal power plant later this year with an initial capacity of 60 MW. “Investment in geothermal energy in the Philippines and Malaysia is expected to generate a return of at least 12-15% per year,” president Chaiwat Kovasisarach told press. The company is also conducting a feasibility study for possible investment in geothermal in Thailand’s Tak province.

Europe & Central Asia

*Armenia: World Bank Approves Exploration Grant for Karkar Field
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a $8.55 million grant to confirm the geothermal resource at Karkar field, Armenia. If the exploratory drilling finds adequate potential for a commercial power plant, construction would be targeted with partners from the private sector. It is thought that the site will have an output potential of about 28 MW. Previous field investigation works at the prospective sites were financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and completed in 2012. “By investing in exploration that can lead to the first commercial project, we can help build domestic capacity for the development of additional geothermal resources at other prospective sites,” Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia told press.

*Iceland: Construction Begins at Theistareykir
Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, has begun construction on the first 45-MW phase of construction on the planned Theistareykir Geothermal Power Station in Northeast Iceland. The company expects power production to begin by the fall of 2017.

*Turkey: Metso to Provide Geothermal Equipment
Metso, based in Finland, announced it will supply geothermal power plant equipment to providers in Turkey. The orders include: “control and on-off valves, consisting of butterfly, globe, segment and ball valves,” according to a statement. The equipment meet geothermal needs for “high pressure difference, flashing and silica scaling” and safety requirements, the statement said.

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