Dec 2, 2013 - New Zealand power producer Mighty River Power (NZE:MRP) said today its had temporarily shut down its 138-MW Nga Awa Purua geothermal plant in order to perform repairs on the steam turbine.
The company operates the facility under a 65/35 joint venture with the Tauhara North No2 Trust. During routine maintenance inspections, the partners have found out that the turbine blades were damaged by geothermal fluids. The steam turbine was after than modified to allow ongoing operation, which lowered the capacity of the plant to about 95% of normal levels.
Mighty River, which raised NZD 1.7 billion (USD 1.39bn/EUR 1.02bn) in its initial public offering (IPO) in May, expects to resume work at the geothermal station near Taupo within 1-2 weeks. Following the current outage, which will allow the firm to assess the problem, the turbine will undergo permanent repairs in about 15-18 months, the joint venture’s chairman William Meek said. The entity is to book NZD 15 million in costs for the turbine blade replacement in fiscal 2014/15.
The maintenance outage at the station, which has been operational since March 2010, is not expected to have a material effect on the joint venture’s financial performance as revenue losses will be offset by current wholesale market conditions, Meek added.
(NZD 1.0 = USD 0.8211/EUR 0.604)
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