Ormat completes the 82 MW Ngatamariki geothermal power plant in New Zealand, a binary unit built within a 24 months timeframe for Mighty River Power under an EPC contract.
Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced that it has successfully completed the 82 MW Ngatamariki geothermal power plant in New Zealand under the $142 million Supply and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts signed with Mighty River Power (MRP) in June 2011.
Mighty River Power’s modular Ngatamariki geothermal power plant is the largest singular binary power plant ever constructed. The Ormat Energy Converters are directly fed by a high temperature (380°F / 193°C) geothermal fluid. Until now, on such resources, only steam turbines or Geothermal Combined Cycle plants were used. In this configuration, 100% of the exploited geothermal fluid is reinjected with zero water consumption and low emissions, minimizing the impact on the environment with no depletion of the underground reservoir.
Ngatamariki was built in a record time of 24 months from the contract award. During commissioning, the power plant generated 150GWh and produced its first income stream for MRP.
Dr. Doug Heffernan, Mighty River Power’s CEO, said, “The plant near Taupo was completed within the forecast and had proven performance above design specifications in testing over the past three months. We’re delighted with a project of this scale – the largest of its type in the world – to see it successfully completed, and with power output now expected to be 3MW (4%) higher than spec, which will be positive for the plant’s economics into the future.We also expect the project to come in slightly under the total cost forecast.”
Dr. Heffernan added, “The new station would add close to 700 GWh of annual electricity production, equivalent to the electricity use of about 80,000 households.”
Dita Bronicki, CEO of Ormat Technologies, said, “We are pleased with the outperformance of the Ngatamariki power plant and we are confident that the effectiveness and reliability of Ormat’s technology will continue to benefit our clients. During the last 25 years, Ormat has installed in New Zealand approximately 350 MW in 14 power plants, 60% of the new geothermal capacity. We look forward to expanding our activity with our partners in New Zealand and share our accumulated knowledge and experience in future geothermal development in that county and around the world.”
Mighty River Power’s GM Development, Mark Trigg, said the plant reached full capacity for the first time at the end of June and had now successfully completed a continuous 30-day reliability run, enabling formal handover from the principal contractor Ormat Technologies Inc.
Mr Trigg said: “This project has been more than a decade in the planning since the geothermal development rights over the land were secured with our partners in 2000. Today, as our third major geothermal project completed since 2008, this extends our successful track record in geothermal development in New Zealand.
“The completion of Ngatamariki also means the significant capital expenditure – of more than $1.4 billion – that the Company has invested in geothermal assets in New Zealand over recent years is at an end, with Mighty River Power unlikely to build a new large power station here in the next three to five years due to the current weak electricity demand outlook,” Mr Trigg said.