Green Green:  Financing News for the U.S. Geothermal Industry

Volume 1, Number 4
30 September 2000


U.S. Team Travels to Chile, Home to "World Class" Geothermal Resources

Chilean Government to Tender 120 Geothermal Prospects in January 2001

Indonesia Lifts Exclusive Right on Geothermal Resources

OPIC Faces Long Wait for $290-Million Claim for Indonesian Geothermal Plants, 800 MWe

G-8 Leaders Back Renewables for Developing Countries


Geothermal Project Pipeline

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U.S. Team Travels to Chile, Home to "World Class" Geothermal Resources

A team of three U.S. geothermal experts traveled to Chile in July to examine the potential for the economic development of the country's significant geothermal resources.

Gerald Huttrer, U.S. Geothermal Industries Corporation and Geothermal Management Company, Inc.; Eduardo Granados, GeothermEx, Inc.; and David Mendive, Geothermal Development Associates met with private, public, and academic sector representatives, and conducted field examinations of the Puchuldiza, El Tatio, and Termas de Chillán geothermal fields. The three fields were determined to be the most promising for early economic development.

Puchuldiza, El Tatio, and Termas de Chillán are located in extreme eastern Chile, along the borders with Bolivia and Argentina. Considered "world class," the fields have electric power generation potential of tens to hundreds of MWe and/or MWt. The three sites are extensive in area; reasonably accessible; have excellent geologic, geochemical, and geophysical indicia; and will soon be available for access via concessions.

Puchuldiza is located in the central eastern part of Region I (19.3ºS; 69ºW) within the high Andes at 4250 masl in an unpopulated valley about 39 km from the Bolivian border town of Colchane. The resource temperature is 165-200°C, and the field has an estimated potential of at least 190 MWe.

El Tatio is located in the Andes Mountain Range in northern Chile, 100 km east of the town of Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine; at 4300 masl in Region II (22.3ºS, 68ºW). The field compares favorably with the best Philippine and Indonesian geothermal areas and may be the largest undeveloped geothermal resource area in the world (excluding Yellowstone and areas that are off limits within the National Parks of several nations). It is believed that there is potential for generation of many hundreds of MWe if this resource reservoir is properly exploited and managed.

At Termas de Chillán located in the northeastern corner of Region VIII, the local ski and spa resort and hotel limit their geothermal water use to three swimming pools and small "curative baths." Heat and hot water are provided by burning a fuel oil and paraffin mix for which the hotel pays $US 0.065/kWh. The Chillán resource is large and could be used to support generation of at least several tens of MWe as well as for direct applications such as district heating.

The team found that:

  1. Current low energy prices ($US 0.02-.03/kWh) prevent geothermal energy from competing on the open power market.

  2. It is unlikely that geothermal resources will be developed while the prices paid for gas-fueled and hydroelectrically generated power remain below $US 0.045 - 060 per kWh.

  3. Chile has 20-year contracts with Argentina to buy gas at prices within a specified range. When Brazil's hydropower-rich grid is linked to those of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, it is anticipated that $US 0.01/kwh power will become available.

  4. Chilean energy planning is short-term, discounting the possibility of losing imported fuel and/or power, and focusing exclusively on low energy prices in the near-term.

  5. Though the Chilean people and the government are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, "Green" thinking is in its infancy.

  6. Carbon Credit income has been considered but to date only one plant has been built using credits as a rationale.

Geothermal resources are the property of the Chilean government regardless of who owns the surface rights. A Geothermal Law has been passed and the publication of the Rules and Regulations is expected in October 2000 after which geothermal concessions will be granted to winning bidders (see next article).


Chilean Government to Tender 120 Geothermal Prospects in January 2001

The Chilean Government will tender, among national and foreign private sector companies, the concession of 120 potential geothermal prospects in January 2001, Economy, Mines, and Energy Ministry's attorney Alfredo Lazo told The Chilean Geologic Survey (SERNAGEOMIN) has already carried out preliminary technical studies.

"The Comptroller General is currently developing regulation and the bidding rules for the tender, which should be completed towards the end of December, and as soon as we receive them we will start the process," Ministry lawyer Ana Gloria Parroquia told

Dozens of companies have already requested information on the tender of the prospects, Parroquia said, but "we believe that only four or five companies can realistically compete for preferential rights." Lazo added."

Between October and December, the Ministry will receive preferential rights applications from companies that claim to have already made investments or carried out studies in any of the 120 prospects. "We will analyze the applications and rule on them so that we can tender the prospects that have not been claimed or awarded, which will probably be nearly all of them, " Lazo explained.

Bids will be evaluated from a technical and economic standpoint; the bid process will take about two months. Exploration concessions will be valid for two years with two-year extensions available upon request. Exploitation rights are automatic.

Companies that have carried out studies in other geothermal prospects not on the list may directly request a concession without having to participate in the tender process, but by law all the potential prospects must be tendered. Exclusive rights are available for newly discovered sites.

The best known and most studied site is El Tatio in northern Region II, where state-owned Corporation for the Promotion of Development (CORFO) has already carried out studies. CORFO will apply for concessions at Puchuldiza and El Tatio.

Source: Business News Americas/ (29 September)


Indonesia Lifts Exclusive Right on Geothermal Resources

Jakarta has lifted the monopoly of state oil and gas company Pertamina on Indonesia's geothermal resources and transferred the management of the resources to the regions.

On 7 August, The Jakarta Post reported that regional authorities hold the right to license the development of Indonesia's geothermal resources. The regional authorities also have the right to supervise geothermal projects in their respective territories or cancel the projects, the paper said.

Geothermal contracts will be valid for 30 years but regional administrations may extend the contracts at the request of investors. Both private companies and cooperatives are allowed to develop Indonesia's geothermal resources for power generation for themselves or the public. The regional administrations and the central government will share the royalties payable by investors.

Source: AsiaPulse via COMTEX (7 August)


OPIC Faces Long Wait for $290-Million Claim for Indonesian Geothermal Plants, 800 MWe

T he Indonesian government has indicated that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) may have to wait for a long time before it can recover $290 million representing compensation for the state utility's failure to honor a supply contract for the 400 MWe Dieng and Patuha projects, originally developed by MidAmerican Holdings' predecessor, CalEnergy.

Minister of Finance Bambang Sudibyo said he does not have the authority to sanction the payment and since the issue has become a political one with the U.S. government exerting pressure on the Indonesian government, approval would be needed from the House of Representatives to settle the claim.

After state-owned utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) refused to honor the contracts for the two plants in 1999, MidAmerican successfully entered arbitration and in fourth-quarter 1999 it collected $290 million in political risk insurance from OPIC and various syndicates of Lloyd's of London to cover contract breaches related to the projects.

MidAmerican turned the plants and the balance owed from the $575-million arbitration award over to its insurers. OPIC is now trying to claim the $290 million from the Indonesian government.

Sudibyo said approval from the House was necessary to settle the claim because the amount was too high and payment of it could affect the state budget. "What is clear is that I do not have the authority to settle a claim for such an amount,'' Bambang said.

U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Gelbard had earlier said the negotiations between OPIC and PLN on the claim were proceeding too slowly and that the U.S. was losing patience. Gelbard said the U.S. government might seize Indonesian state assets if PLN kept refusing to pay the claim.

Bambang criticized the threats. "Go ahead and threaten us,'' he said. `"You will not deal with me, but with the state.''

Other politicians are also asking the government to ignore the claim and the threat of the assets being seized. Priyo Budi Santoso, a legislator from the Golkar Party, said he would block any plans by the government to pay OPIC, citing alleged corruption, collusion and nepotism in MidAmerican's contracts with PLN.

He added that MidAmerican's subsidiaries had yet to fully pay several local companies for their drilling services for the geothermal projects. "If the U.S. government seizes our assets, then we will seize their assets here,'' said Santoso.

However, PLN president Kuntoro Mangkusubroto said negotiations on the payments for the claim were proceeding smoothly and were focused on trying to reduce OPIC's claims.

Sources: Platt Petrochemical Report (18 August)


G-8 Leaders Back Renewables for Developing Countries

The leaders of the world's largest industrial countries, meeting at the August G-8 Summit on Okinawa, Japan, endorsed the concept of encouraging greater use of renewable energy in developing countries as a means of combatting air pollution and global climate change.

According to both the United Kingdom government and the U.S.-based Climate Institute, the G-8 initiative is largely the work of U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair. It calls for establishment of a task force to recommend ways to encourage use of renewables, and on 1 August, Blair announced that Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, will co-chair the task force with Dr. Corrado Clini, director general of the Italian Environment Ministry.

The issue of renewables was addressed in a communique released by the G-8 leaders. The language of the communique provision follows: "Working together and with existing institutions to encourage and facilitate investment in the development and use of sustainable energy, underpinned by enabling domestic environments, will assist in mitigating the problems of climate change and air pollution.

"To this end, the increased use of renewable energy sources in particular will improve the quality of life, especially in developing countries. We therefore call on all stakeholders to identify the barriers and solutions to elevating the level of renewable energy supply and distribution in developing countries. We invite stakeholders to join in a Task Force to prepare concrete recommendations for consideration at our next Summit regarding sound ways to better encourage the use of renewables in developing countries."

The task force is scheduled to meet in September and to report to the Genoa G-8 Summit next summer.

Source: Wind Energy Weekly (14 August)


Geothermal Project Pipeline

The following projects are in various stages of development. Projects which have not been listed before are marked NEW.

Country Project Name Financing Source US$ (millions) 
Colombia Feasibility of Azufral Geothermal Field (TC9706344) English

Inter-American Development Bank, Japanese Special Fund

Japanese consulting firms are required to carry out all of the studies but may subcontract up to 50% of the work.

$1.5 - Approved by the Board March 2000
Costa Rica Miravalles III Geothermal Power Plant (1105/OC) Inter-American Development Bank, Private $70.0
Djibouti Assal Geothermal Power Plant (Feasibility Study) Geothermal Development Associates, U.S. Trade and Development Agency $90,000
El Salvador Second Electric Development Program (Loan No. 838/OC-ES)

Stabilization and Rehabilitation of the Ahuachapán Geothermal Field Project
Inter-American Development Bank $332.0 - Procurement underway.
Kenya Olkaria II (64 MWe)

Kingston Morrison, Mitsubishi Corporation, H. Young
European Investment Bank, World Bank (IDA), KFW (Germany), Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) $178 - Set to be commissioned July 2002

Olkaria III (64 MWe)

Ormat International
  8 MWe recently commissioned

Olkaria IV, "Domes" and Eburru (64 MWe) Development will be open to the private sector; contact Ministry of Energy or Steve Hirsch Scheduled to come online 2005/6
Mexico Cerro Prieto Japan Bank for International Cooperation, BNP Paribas, ING Bank $120.0
Mexico Los Azufres II, 100 MWe CFE Tender $101 - Initiation of Project - 2001, Completion of Project - 2003
Mexico Off-Grid Rural Electrification (MXGE68390) World Bank, Global Environment Facility

The project will test private-sector implemented mechanisms for sustainable electrification of off-grid rural areas, using conventional and renewable energy technologies, as feasible.
$6.5 - Appraisal mission scheduled for early fiscal year 2001

Consulting services to be determined.
Philippines Rural Electrification World Bank

The project would support the National Energy Plan through investment support to provide selected rural areas with reliable electricity supply in a sustainable manner, including renewable energy.

First phase will support investments for off-grid rural electrification directed at achieving visible results on the ground within a relatively short term.
$50.0 - Project is being identified

Consulting services to be determined.
Poland Podhale Geothermal District Heating and Environment Project (PLPE37339 and PLGE57993) World Bank, European Union, Government of Denmark, Global Environment Facility, Local contribution, U.S. Agency for International Development $99.3
Poland Renewable Energy/Geothermal, District Heating for Zakopane (PLPA37339) World Bank $32.6 - Project preparation is underway

No consultants are required.
Portugal Azores

49% ownership by the Portuguese electrical utility, Electricidade de Portugal (EDP); 51% by the Azores electrical utility, Electricidade dos Acores (EDA).

Azores sources suggest that the Azores Government would be happy with the presence of a US company with the right technology, management record and resources as a strategic partner in the consortium.

Russia Mutnovsky Independent Power Project, Kamchatka European Bank for Reconstruction & Development $353.2
Viet Nam Central Region Geothermal Power U.S. Trade and Development Agency $141.0
Viet Nam Rural Energy (VNPE56452) World Bank

The project's main development objective is to expand rural access to electricity in about 671 communes located in 32 provinces of Viet Nam through grid extension.

The project will also promote the application of renewable energy sources.
$150.0 - Negotiations were scheduled for late April 2000

Consulting services to be determined.

Sources: United Nations Development Business; the Infrastructure Division; the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce Global Infrastructure Projects Database; others as noted.


Upcoming Events

October December
November 2001

1-5 October
Clean Energy Trade Mission to the Czech Republic and Poland
U.S. Department of Commerce
Email: Andrew Collier

12-13 October
U.S. Eco-Energy 2000 Exhibition and Seminar
U.S. Trade Center, Tokyo, Japan
Email: Ms. Yoko Hatano, Mr. Kenji Kobayashi, or Kenneth B. Reidbord
The purpose of this two-day event is to provide a forum under the U.S. Embassy's sponsorship for American suppliers of environmentally friendly energy related technologies to gain market exposure in Japan.

15-21 October
Clean Energy Trade Mission to Russia
U.S. Department of Commerce
Rachel Halpern, Trade Advisor
Tel: (202) 482-4423; Fax: (202) 482-5666

23-25 October
Web site: Power and Energy in the Americas
Houston, TX
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
The conference will cover opportunities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and several Caribbean countries. Senior officials from the U.S. and project sponsors from the region will discuss upcoming developments in the energy sector from a business perspective and provide detailed information on more than 40 public and private-sector projects currently on the drawing boards.

25-26 October
Asia Geothermal Symposium 2000
Bangkok City, Thailand
Email: Taigo Wada

26-27 October
Web site: Mexican Energy 2000
Houston, TX

14-16 November
Web site: Power-Gen International Conference
Orlando, Florida
The exhibition is the largest display of electric power generation equipment, products and services available within a single venue. Topics covered include generation trends, business/economic issues, environmental issues, fuels, operating, and upgrading issues related to electric power generation. Power-Gen International attendees include executive, managerial, supervisory, and technical personnel from the electric utilities industry, independent and industrial power producers, architects and engineers, project developers, original equipment manufacturers, and government officials.

26 November-5 December
Clean Energy Trade Mission to India
U.S. Department of Commerce
Nazir Bhagat, Trade Advisor
Tel: (202) 482-3855; Fax: (202) 482-5666

28 November-1 December
Web site: China International Environment, Renewables, and Energy Efficiency Exhibition and Conference -- CERE' 2000
Beijing, China
Email: Mr. Yong Zhang, Ms. Xuemei Hu, or Mr. Yu Fan
This conference covers climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation.

29-30 November
Renewable Energy: Market Outlook and Strategies -- Current & Future
Denver, CO
This conference will present case studies detailing what others are doing to promote the use of renewables. It will also describe new technologies that will make it easier to implement green power strategies. Learn how you can use green power, distributed resources and renewable on- site generation as a viable customer solution to current energy market fluctuations.

29 November-1 December
Web site: U.S./European Partnering Event for Environmental Technologies
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The event will bring together about 150 public and private sector organizations from across Europe, Eurasia, and the U.S. that have an interest in finding partners to collaborate on matters pertaining to environmental technologies -- including energy efficient and renewable energy technologies. Event sponsors include the White House Interagency Environmental Technology Office, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs/Senter, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Trans-Atlantic Small Business Initiative.

4-8 December
Clean Energy Trade Mission to Beijing, Chengdu, and Guangzhou
U.S. Department of Commerce
Email: Kathryn Hollander, Trade Advisor

4-8 December
Web site: Village Power 2000: Empowering People and Transforming Markets
Washington, D.C.
World Bank
Email: Barbara Ferris, NREL
NOTE: Geothermal is currently not on the program.

11-12 December
Web site: 5th Annual Private Energy in Turkey
Washington, D.C.


29-31 January
Web site: 26th Stanford Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
Palo Alto, CA
The workshop will bring together engineers, scientists, and managers involved in geothermal reservoir studies and developments; provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on the exploration, development, and use of geothermal resources; and enable the prompt and open reporting of progress.

13-14 March
22nd Annual PNOC-EDC Geothermal Conference
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Email: John Patrick L. Catane
The Philippine National Oil Company Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) cordially invites scientists and engineers in the geothermal industry to attend and participate in the 22nd Annual PNOC-EDC Geothermal Conference. The meeting will feature a special session on the Bulalo and Tiwi Geothermal fields that are being operated by Philippine Geothermal, Inc. As always, the technical program promises to be of great interest to all involved in the exploration, development, and regulation of geothermal resources worldwide.

8-10 May
Email: Sustain 2001: the World Sustainable Energy Conference
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

June (TBD)
Web site: 4th Annual Private Power in Central America
Miami, FL

August (TBD)
U.S.-China Clean Energy Symposium & Exhibition
Beijing, China
Ministry of Science and Technology
Email: Lee Gebert, DOE
Email: Debra Lew, NREL

26-29 August
Web site: Geothermal Resources Council
Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA

21-25 October
Web site: 18th World Energy Congress
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Other geothermal and related calendars:

To have your event listed, contact Liz Battocletti.


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30 November 2000


Green Green is produced for the Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) under Purchase Order No. K99-181018 and the U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Geothermal and Wind Technologies.

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