Construction of Ngatamariki Geothermal Station Gains Momentum

08 May 2012
The arrival of a major shipment to Mighty River Power’s Ngatamariki geothermal development over the last week marked a significant milestone in the construction of the Company’s 82MW plant.

The shipment of the towers for the air cooling system, from international geothermal technology supplier ORMAT, weighed more than 2,000 tonnes and arrived in New Zealand at the Port of Tauranga. Approximately 90 truckloads of equipment were delivered on site over the last week. The cooling system is made up of four structures that, at approximately 15 meters high and 300 meters in combined length, represent a significant physical aspect to the plant.

Mighty River Power’s General Manager Development, Mark Trigg, said delivery of the shipment was an important milestone in the construction of the plant and would enable future works to continue on the original construction schedule. The cooling system plays an integral role in the operations of the plant.

“It’s great to see the progress on site.  The foundations for the cooling towers are almost complete and very soon we’ll be able to see the station really begin to take shape.  We remain on schedule for completion and commissioning in mid 2013,” said Mr Trigg.

The Ngatamariki plant, the third major geothermal power station constructed by the Company over the past 5 years, will provide additional renewable base load capacity and further diversify the Company’s generation portfolio.

Mr Trigg said the plant would complement the Company’s core hydro base, lifting Mighty River Power’s geothermal energy production (measured on ownership interests) from over 30% to approximately 40% of the Company’s generation output, and taking total geothermal capacity under its operation above 460MW.

The development, which follows the commissioning of Kawerau (2008) and Nga Awa Purua (2010), will be 100% owned by Mighty River Power, although Tauhara North No.2 Trust – which was a joint participant in securing the resource consents – would receive a revenue stream from the project and has an option to take an equity stake in the plant at market value no earlier than 10 years after final commissioning.

Notes to Editors:
  • The Ngatamariki geothermal steam field is located 17kms north-east of Taupo
  • The project cost of NZ$466 million is financed from the Company’s balance sheet. In mid 2011, the Company secured $250 million additional debt facilities to supplement existing debt capacity
  • ORMAT was awarded the Ngatamariki project under an EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) arrangement. As a turn-key contract, this significantly reduces construction risk of the power plant  to Mighty River Power. Responsibility for steamfield work remains with the Company.
  • ORMAT’s modular design for the development allows four generation units to be built in its first phase, with infrastructure capacity sufficient to allow for further units to be added in the future
Photography supplied:
  1. Aerial view of Ngatamariki site
  2. Delivery trucks carrying cooling towers en route from Port of Tauranga to Ngatamariki site
About Mighty River Power

Mighty River Power is an integrated electricity generator and retailer, and New Zealand’s only large renewables dominated energy company with both hydro and geothermal generation. Our core business is based on reliable, low fuel cost generation, complemented by electricity sales to businesses and homes through multiple retail brands.

The Company’s sales to major industrial and commercial users and through our retail brands, Mercury Energy, GLO-BUG, Bosco Connect and Tiny Mighty Power, account for about 18% of New Zealand’s total electricity consumption.

More than 90% of our generation is from renewable sources, with a substantial geothermal share, supported by a flexible gas-fired plant in Auckland. Mighty River Power is among the world’s top 10 geothermal businesses and is investing through GeoGlobal Energy in geothermal developments in the US, Chile and Germany.

Mighty River Power won Overall Energy Company and Project of the Year at the 2010 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards and in 2011 was named Energy Retailer of the Year (Mercury Energy).

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Aerial view of Ngatamariki_May 2012
Ngatamariki Shipment_May 2012