Contact Energy picks partner to build 150-MW geothermal plant in New Zealand

Geothermal power station. Featured Image: N.Minton/Shutterstock.com

June 29 (Renewables Now) - Contact Energy Ltd (NZE:CEN), an electricity and gas provider of New Zealand, last week said it has signed an early works contract with Japan-based Sumitomo Corp (TYO:8053) as its construction partner for a 150-MW geothermal power facility on New Zealand's North Island.

The contract was signed after Contact completed a NZD-40-million (USD 25.7m/EUR 22.9m) appraisal of the Tauhara geothermal field, located near the town of Taupo. The four wells drilled in the campaign confirmed the field's potential and the company already has the equivalent of 75 MW of high-temperature production fluid.

The agreement allows Sumitomo to start plant design and press ahead with site investigation and execution planning. The Japanese company has chosen New Zealand-based construction company Naylor Love for the project's civil engineering components, while Japan-based Fuji Electric Co Ltd (TYO:6504) will supply the steam turbine.

"The Tauhara development is now technically shovel-ready and only subject to a final investment decision as soon as market conditions allow," Contact CEO Mike Fuge commented.

The company expects to invest an additional NZD 600 million in the project.

(NZD 1.0 = USD 0.644/EUR 0.572)

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Before joining Renewables Now, Alex was a UK-focused business news reporter. Now she is covering global news from the renewable energy industry with a special interest in M&A.

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