Mercury NZ to expand Ngatamariki geothermal power plant
The Heber Complex in California. Source: Ormat Technologies Inc.
Ormat Technologies Inc (NYSE:ORA) will deliver a 56-MW, gross, geothermal power plant at Ngatamariki, New Zealand for New Zealand power generator and retailer Mercury NZ Ltd (NZE:MCY).
The US geothermal company said on Tuesday it has been awarded a contract for the supply and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the facility, which represents an expansion of the existing 96-MW Ngatamariki geothermal power plant, also built by Ormat in 2012.
Mercury NZ separately confirmed it will add a fifth unit with a net capacity of 50 MW to the geothermal station. After reconfiguring the site, the net output of the full station will increase by 46 MW, boosting generation by 390 GWh a year.
Construction is due to start early next year, with the first generation expected in late 2025.
The expansion will cost NZD 220 million (USD 131m/EUR 122m), excluding capitalised interest, geothermal drilling of about NZD 35 million and sunk costs of NZD 3 million.
Mercury chief executive Vince Hawksworth noted the investment is the first wave of the NZD 1 billion the company plans to commit in the current financial year through June 2024 to generation development it will build over the next three years.
The Ngatamariki expansion is the first of three renewable generation projects that Mercury expects to bring to final investment decision (FID) in the current financial year, the company said. Kaiwaikawe wind farm and stage two of Kaiwera Downs wind farm are both approaching FID, it added.