Indonesia: Tata Power consortium bags geothermal energy project

The consortium comprising Tata Power (47.5%), Origin Energy (47.5%) and PT Supraco Indonesia (5%) were declared as the successful bidder for Sorik Marapi geothermal project in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, Tata Power stated. The Sorik Marapi project is estimated to generate 240 mw. OEL is Australasia’s integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing.

Indonesia is expected to have approximately 27,000 MW of potential conventional geothermal resources. It has 1196 MW in geothermal generation in operation. Indonesia is situated on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’.

The project will be developed by PT Sorik Marapi Geothermal Power, a special purpose vehicle formed by the consortium. The consortium will undertake a detailed exploration programme over 18 months. The expected commercial operation date (COD) for the project is June 2015.

“Tata Power wants to achieve at least 25% of its generation portfolio via renewable sources by 2017, geothermal energy being one of the prime renewable growth engines,” Tata Power MD Prasad R Menon said.

Tata Power with generation capabilities in hydro, thermal, solar and wind energy has nearly 3,000 MW in operation and 5,500 MW in construction. It has a 10% stake in Geodynamics, a listed Australia-based organisation specialising in geothermal energy and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Along with Geodynamics, it is reviewing the potential of geothermal prospects outside Australia to secure a foothold in the renewable energy markets.

OEL executive director (finance & strategy) Karen Moses said, “The joint venture is consistent with Origin’s strategy of pursuing exploration opportunities for energy resources near growing markets. This JV is reflective of our belief that geothermal can provide large scale renewable base load energy.”

Lately, Tata Power has been aggressively looking for opportunities across the entire value chain of power business in terms of new distribution circles, expansion and diversification of capacity. It has been vying to acquire a 50% stake in the US-based global power generation firm, InterGen.

Besides, it will take the company closer to its target of achieving 25,000 MW of power generation capacity earlier than 2016-17. It has a total generation capacity of about 3,000 MW and has significant presence in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Algeria, Myanmar and Thailand.