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Geothermal station build reaches milestone

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

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.

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