Cooling towers arrive as plant takes shape

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 14:45 09/05/2012
MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: An aerial view of the Ngatamariki geothermal site where a power plant is under development.

MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: An aerial view of the Ngatamariki geothermal site where a power plant is under development.

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A shipment of cooling towers to Mighty River Power's Ngatamariki geothermal development marks a significant milestone in the construction of the company's 82 megawatt plant.

The cargo will make up the air cooling system and weigh more than 2000 tonnes. About 90 truckloads of equipment were delivered to the steam field site 17km northeast of Taupo over the last week from the Port of Tauranga.

The four structures, at about 15 metres high and 300 metres in combined length, represent a significant physical aspect to the plant.

Mighty River Power spokesman Mark Trigg said delivery of the shipment would enable works to continue on the original construction schedule.

"It's great to see the progress on site," he said. "The foundations for the cooling towers are almost complete and very soon we'll be able to see the station really begin to take shape." The state-owned enterprise is on schedule for completion and commissioning in mid 2013.

The Ngatamariki plant, the third major geothermal power station constructed by the company over the past five years, will provide additional renewable base load capacity.

Mr Trigg said the plant would lift Mighty River Power's geothermal energy production from over 30 per cent to about 40 per cent of the company's generation output.

The development, that follows the commissioning of Kawerau (2008) and Nga Awa Purua (2010), will be 100 per cent owned by Mighty River Power but Tauhara North No.2 Trust will receive a revenue stream from the project.

It also has an option to take an equity stake in the plant at market value no earlier than 10 years after final commissioning.

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- Waikato Times

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