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NZ expertise to help with geothermal energy development in Chile

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

GNS Science is taking its geothermal energy expertise to Chile next week where it will run workshops in computer modelling of geothermal fields for the geothermal industry in Chile.

The Chileans have asked for the two three-day workshops to learn to use a New Zealand-developed three-dimensional modelling software that improves the efficiency of developing and running geothermal energy fields.

Called Leapfrog Geothermal, the software was developed by Christchurch-based company ARANZ Geo with the support of GNS Science. It is fast becoming the worldwide industry standard software for geologists involved in geothermal development.

The courses are being run back-to-back in Santiago. The first is a general course open to industry and university personnel from throughout Chile, and the second is an in-house course being run for a Chilean geothermal energy company that has recently bought the Leapfrog software and wants its staff to become competent users.

"Both courses will involve a mix of abilities from first-time users to people who are already familiar with the software," said GNS Science geothermal business development manager Andrea Blair.

GNS Science has run a number of the courses in New Zealand and in Indonesia. This will be the first time they have been offered in Chile. GNS Science has undertaken specialist consulting work for the geothermal industry in Chile for some years and the workshops are a continuation of existing relationships.

Geothermal modellers Samantha Alcaraz and Angela Prieto, both of Taupo, will use a generic geothermal field as an example during the workshops to provide realism for the participants.

Leapfrog Geothermal is a powerful software package that enables geologists to visualise the subsurface of geothermal fields from all angles to help with efficient decision-making at all stages field development from exploration of new fields to longterm management of existing fields.

"As Leapfrog Geothermal moves closer to becoming the global industry standard, more countries will be asking us to help with familiarisation with the software so they can get the most out of it," Ms Blair said.

Chile had vast untapped geothermal energy fields and the Chileans were keen to draw on the expertise of New Zealand to help develop their indigenous energy resources, she said.

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