Adelaide, Australia [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Petratherm is on track to deliver Australia’s first commercial geothermal energy project following the start of major drilling at its Paralana site in South Australia’s Far North this week. In collaboration with its joint venture partners, Petratherm spudded its Paralana 2 deep well using a AUS $40 million [US $32.3 million] custom-made contract drilling rig which arrived on-site last month after being commissioned from Weatherford International in Dubai.
The Paralana project is set to use the rig to drill 4 kilometers (km) below the earth’s surface creating a deep injection well that, in tandem with a second drilled well, will establish an underground “heat exchanger” capable of circulating super-heated water exceeding temperatures of 200°C, Petratherm said.
Beach Petroleum and TRUenergy Geothermal, Petratherm’s joint venture partners, will contribute AUS $10 million and $6 million (plus their equity share of project costs) respectively towards drilling and stimulating the first and second deep wells and the water circulation between the two wells.
The Paralana project covers over 500km² of known “hot rock” granite resources adjacent to the Mt. Painter region in South Australia’s northern Flinders Ranges about 40km east of Arkaroola. A specially trained team of workers and a 40-bed camp are now on-site as major drilling gets underway.
Last month, the Paralana JV project was formally backed by the Federal Government with a AUS $7 million grant received through the Geothermal Drilling Program. The Paralana project has also applied for funding via the Government’s AUS $435 million Renewable Energy Demonstration Program to help finance a 30-megawatt (MW) commercial demonstration project.