Hot rocks drill site picked
May, 15 2012
(Australia) -- MORIAC has been named as the site for a flagship hot rocks project, with the first stage of the dig to cost $30 million.
Greenearth Energy Limited has been eyeing off parts of the region for at least five years and finally announced it had chosen to locate its project at the Holcim Quarry site on Forest Rd, which is 8.5km north of Alcoa's coal-fired Anglesea power station.
The company will now look to carry out an exploration drill at the site as part of the $30 million first stage of its flagship venture.
Greenearth managing director Mark Miller said the company had tried to address many concerns in selecting the Moriac site.
"Being located in an industrial extractive industry zone, in an existing operating quarry, close to established infrastructure attempts to ensure that any impact will be significantly minimised," he said last week.
A preliminary memorandum of intent regarding the use of the site has been signed by Greenearth Energy and Holcim.
Greenearth Energy has secured $5 million from the State Government to begin the exploration stage of the project and is seeking federal and private funding to drill its first geothermal well.
The ASX-listed company said the production well would be drilled to 4000m, with testing to assess temperature and flow rates.
If the company is satisfied with the findings, a second injection well will be drilled to confirm the potential of the site, which would lead to stage two being developed.
Backed by a $20 million state grant, stage two would see two more drilling sites and the commissioning of a 12-megawatt pilot power plant.
Alcoa has committed to taking up to 12 megawatts of power from Greenearth Energy, with the two companies striking a deal in 2010.
As late as November last year, Greenearth was looking at 10 potential sites on land between Gherang and Anglesea for the project.
Geothermal energy is harnessed by drilling into the earth until a significant geothermal hot spot is found. A pipe is attached which allows hot steam to rise up to the surface. The steam is then channelled into a turbine.
The Department of Primary Industries has to give approval for the drilling after assessing risks, including seismic activity.
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