Ormat for 65M geothermal deal

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    Nevada firm plans second project with utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

    Reno, Nev.-based Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA) is preparing to start its second geothermal project in Costa Rica after being chosen for a $65 million contract with Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica.

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    Ormat plans to build, test and commission the Las Pailas Geothermal Plant, which is planned for construction in Las Pailas Field, Costa Rica, for the country’s national electricity and telecommunications company, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).

    Under the agreement, Ormat is expected to complete the plant in 18 months. The capacity of the geothermal facility was not disclosed. Ormat says the new plant will use water-cooled condensers and its proprietary high-performance, high-efficiency organic turbine. Ormat previously built an 18-megawatt binary geothermal power station for ICE in 2004.

    Ormat has developed four other geothermal projects in Central America since 1999. The projects are expected to totaling 150 MW when the Pailas plant is commissioned.

    Ormat is developing geothermal projects around the globe.

    Earlier this month, Ormat said its subsidiary Orpower 4 signed loan documents for project financing of up to $105 million to refinance the 48 MW Olkaria III geothermal power plant in Naivasha, Kenya. Ormat invested $150 million of its internal funds to finance construction of the first two phases of the project, which was completed in December (see New Year money goes to biofuels). The electricity generated is sold to Kenya Power & Light Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

    In September, Ormat paid $3.3 million for geothermal exploration rights on about 35,000 acres of land in Alaska in an active volcanic region, winning 15 of the 16 tracts offered for lease by the state on Mount Spurr, a snowcapped 11,070-foot volcano, 75 miles west of Anchorage (see Ormat buys geothermal rights in Alaska).

    And in July, Ormat signed a $45.6 million contract to supply and build a binary geothermal power station for Wellington, New Zealand’s Contact Energy. The 23.3 megawatt binary power station will be located in the Tauhara Geothermal Field, near Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island (see Ormat signs $42M New Zealand contract).

    Ormat also announced a $16 million supply contract for a new geothermal power plant to be constructed in Turkey (see Ormat gets contract for geothermal plant in Turkey).

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