Friday, September 12, 2008

Ormat secures Alaskan geothermal rights

Ormat Technologies, which builds and operates geothermal power plants, announced it has paid $3.3 million for geothermal energy exploration rights on about 35,000 acres in a volcanic region in Alaska.

Ormat said the leased land, which is owned by the state of Alaska, is on the southern flank of the 11,070-foot Mount Spurr about 75 miles west of Anchorage. The company won 15 of 16 tracts offered in the lease sale conducted by Alaska's Department of Natural Resources.

The company claimed that the topographical structure of the region increases the chance of finding a large geothermal field, as compared to the more mature geological structures of Nevada and California.

Commenting on the news, Lucien Bronicki, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, stated, "Alaska is a new frontier in the geothermal arena with many technological and logistical challenges. Our global experience, particularly in Hawaii, and the support of the local Government along with the collaboration of other local stakeholders, will turn this challenge into an opportunity."

Mr. Bronicki continued, "Alaska has a special significance to Ormat that dates as far back as 1975 when we supplied 100 remote gate valve power systems used for protection of the environment along the TransAlaska pipeline which have been operating continuously for more than 30 years. Even the first geothermal unit developed by Ormat was for the University of Fairbanks for 130 deg Fahrenheit water at the Manley Hot Spring. We have been a friend to Alaska for many years now and we are up to the challenge of creating the State's first large-scale geothermal power plant.

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