The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011
NEGOTIATIONS and consultations are in place to drill geothermal wells to provide steam for a geothermal power plant in the Rapidik Matupit area in East New Britain.
This was expected to have the potential to generate 51 megawatts of electricity to household utilities at Matupit island.
On Tuesday, Governor Leo Dion chaired a meeting between eight clan representatives of Matupit, proposed developers – Rey Kjavik Geothermal (RG Pacific Ltd) from Iceland and the provincial administration.
While he appreciated prominent leaders from Matupit, who were negotiating for the project out of ENB, he reiterated the need for consultation with provincial authorities.
In recent weeks, there has been non-agreement of landowner groups on the project, however, this has been ironed out with respective incorporated land groups coming to an understanding to work closely with the provincial administration.
Dion was keen to review contents of the draft MoA so that it catered for all important parties.
RG Pacific Ltd saw the potential of a geothermal project on Matupit due to its closeness to Mt Tavurvur volcano thereby making the environment at Matupit conducive.
The provincial government was also keen to piggyback on the project as it was a clear case of the public-private partnership concept.
The project was expected to also bring a lot of benefits to the people as it was viable.
RG Pacific Ltd consultant, who is the reservoir engineer, Grimur Bjornson indicated they would like to kick off the project in 2013 as long as ENB had the capital.
Due to the special geological location of Iceland, the high concentration of volcanoes in the area was often an advantage in the generation of geothermal energy, the heating and production of electricity. Five major geothermal power plants exist in Iceland, which produce approximately 24% of the nation’s energy.