Reno, Nev., June 21, 2011 — Ormat Technologies entered into a build, operate and transfer agreement with Tikitere Geothermal Power to explore, develop, supply, construct, own and operate a geothermal power plant in the Tikitere geothermal area near Rotorua, New Zealand. Ormat was awarded the project following a competitive bidding process initiated by TGL.
TGL was established as a joint venture vehicle for the various Maori trusts that own and administer the land. TGL's shares are held by the Tikitere Trust. The field from which the energy will be drawn is owned by the Tiki Tere Trust, Paehinahina Mourea and Tiki Tere A (Aggregated) and the Manupirua Ahu Whenua Trust. The geothermal wells will be sited on land owned by the Paehinahina Mourea Trust.
Under the BOT agreement, the parties will jointly develop a geothermal power plant with an estimated capacity of about 45 MW. The project will be operated by Ormat, which shall be the project's beneficiary for an initial period of 14 years following commercial operation and then 100 percent of ownership interests in the project shall be transferred to TGL.
The project will use Ormat's generating units, similar to those already deployed in 12 geothermal projects in New Zealand, totaling about 260 MW.
The BOT Agreement is conditional upon receiving regulatory approval. Construction of the power plant will commence following the obtaining of local permits, as well as satisfactory feasibility results following exploration and development activities to be carried out by Ormat.
The new plant will optimize energy utilization by converting the heat of both geothermal steam and brine from geothermal wells into electrical power. Like all Ormat plants in New Zealand, the Tikitere plant will reinject 100 percent of the geothermal fluid by using air cooling without any water consumption. The 100 percent reinjection serves both to sustain the reservoir and produce electrical power with virtually no environmental impact.