Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Zealand: Spudding Begins in May for 20 MW Te Ahi O Maui Geothermal Project

Excitement brewing for geothermal project (News Release)

Excitement is brewing across both the Kawerau township and Whakatāne district as a much anticipated project launches a new phase of development.

The 20 MW Te Ahi O Maui geothermal project at Kawerau is preparing to enter its first production well-drilling phase. Site works are currently underway to prepare the well-pads and later this month a well-drilling rig will be transported on site.

Te Ahi O Maui Project Manager, Ben Gibson says drilling of the production well will commence on 10 May. The first stage of drilling, called ‘spudding’, will culminate in a five-inch-wide-hole into the Kawerau geothermal reservoir.

“Extensive field monitoring and computer-based modelling has shown we can expect the drilling equipment to pass through layers of varying substrates and pockets of incredibly hot geothermal steam and fluid, which could be between 200-350 degrees Celsius. It’s this high-temperature fluid and steam that will ultimately fuel the geothermal power plant.

“Well drilling and testing are critical success factors for the project’s subsequent steps. If we find what we expect, then the project is all go and we can move on to the geothermal power plant construction phase, which we expect will take between two and two-and-a-half-years,” says Mr Gibson.

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