A ten-day geothermal exploration in Rabaul, East New Britain by experts from Iceland, has confirmed that the province, which is famous for its active volcanoes, does have a lot of potential in developing geothermal energy as a renewable, reusable power source.
Heat from volcanoes can be used to power up the urban cities. Geothermal is becoming an increasingly important part of the renewable energy mix worldwide. This is particularly true in emerging nations, many of which possess the best quality geothermal resources and have very attractive market dynamics.
Geothermal power is a compelling energy source, as the earth produces heat at all times and can be considered base-load and plants operate with near zero emissions. Developing the geothermal energy resource of the nation since the resource is renewable and environmental friendly. However, the findings from the information collected by the experts, scientists and engineers from Iceland known as a centre of geothermal activity, Girmur Bjornsson, Gestur Gislason, Dr Hjalmar Eystinsson and Dr Haraldur Sigurdsson, have to be properly packaged first before being taken up by business and marketing aspect of the concept.
According to Mr Bjornsson, this is “the process of science to business” with this being only one part of the phase into the exploration. The experts, who are with Reykjavík Geothermal, which was founded in 2008 by one of the world’s most experienced geothermal management teams to take advantage of the vast untapped investment and development opportunities in the sector worldwide.
Mr Bjornsson said at Jacksons airport when arriving from Rabaul that information collected was to do with the measure of steam coming out of the ground, structure of the geology and volcanoes in Rabaul were among other necessary criteria needed to determine geothermal energy potential for investment.
“We visited the active Mount Tavurvur volcano and, yes, Rabaul volcanoes are very active and it is an unusual situation in which volcano risks is high. Right now its just an exploration, and PNG is one of new emerging nations that are being focused on by geothermal companies in Iceland, PNG and Ethiopia in Africa,” Mr Bjornsson said.
Instigator of the proposed geothermal project in Rabaul and landowner, Jack Pidik, said: “We would like to build, ideally a geothermal plant in Rabaul, one that is much bigger than in Lihir, which will be a first of its kind in PNG. It will be a big one in the New Guinea Islands and Rabaul is lucky to be the first of the five sites in the NGI that has been selected for the exploration. The other proposed drilling sites are at Talasea hot springs in West New Britain, Kairiru in East Sepik, Fergusson Island in Milne Bay and at Madilogo in Central Province.
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