Ngawha gains con­sent

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF REPORTER

An­other step to­wards the ex­pan­sion of the Ngawha power station has been achieved with re­cent ap­proval of fi­nal re­source con­sents.

Top En­ergy ap­plied for a vari­a­tion on ex­ist­ing con­sents which were granted by the En­vi­ron­ment Court in Fe­bru­ary 2016 af­ter it pur­chased 184 hectares of land ad­ja­cent to its Ngawha op­er­a­tions.

The fi­nal con­sents were granted in July and will last 35 years. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Rus­sell Shaw says the land of­fers clear ad­van­tages.

‘‘The land is lo­cated over the high­est tem­per­a­tures in the geo­ther­mal field. By re­lo­cat­ing our pro­duc­tion wells and the two power sta­tions we have en­hanced ac­cess to the geo­ther­mal reser­voir, thereby in­creas­ing the ef­fi­ciency of the power station and re­duc­ing our con­struc­tion costs,’’ he says.

Top En­ergy plans to in­crease the ca­pac­ity of the station to 50 MW by 2020 and, sub­ject to geo­ther­mal field per­for­mance and mar­ket con­di­tions, to 75 MW by 2026. Peak de­mand in the Far North varies from 70MW on a win­ters evening to 22MW on Christ­mas day.

Con­struc­tion and en­gi­neer­ing con­tracts are in the process of be­ing awarded with civil works ex­pected to start later this year with a com­mis­sion­ing tar­get of June 2020.

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