Origin is a leader in geothermal energy exploration and development and is currently working on geothermal projects in Australia and growing markets offshore. The company has exposure to significant amounts of geothermal generation and development in New Zealand through its 52 per cent interest in Contact Energy - one of the country’s largest producers of geothermal electricity.
Through its joint ventures with Geodynamics, Origin is focused on harnessing Australia’s world class geothermal resources in the Innamincka region, with a view to generating clean, baseload electricity.
Origin also has a 40 per cent interest in Energía Andina S.A., Chile's leading geothermal exploration company, and in Indonesia, a 47.5 per cent interest in the Sorik Marapi geothermal exploration concession.
How geothermal energy works
Geothermal power plants utilise geothermal water heated naturally by the earth. These geothermal fluids flow through heated subsurface rocks which create reservoirs of hot fluids or steam. These are extracted by production wells that bring the geothermal energy to the surface. The high pressure steam is separated and is used to drive turbine-generators for the production of electric power. The condensed fluids are re injected back into the geothermal reservoir to be reheated.
There are two main types of geothermal investigation that Origin is currently involved in: heat extraction from shallow geothermal rock and the more experimental heat extraction from deep geothermal rock "hot rocks".
Working with Geodynamics – Innamincka Joint Ventures
Origin holds interests in Australian geothermal opportunities through its Innamincka joint ventures with Geodynamics.
Geodynamics is Australia's largest listed geothermal company.
The Innamincka joint ventures focus on two distinct sources of geothermal energy;
- Enhanced Geothermal Systems which seek to extract heat from hot fractured granites at over 4 kilometres depth; and
- A Hot Sedimentary Aquifer system which will seek to commercialise heat from lower temperature sandstone reservoirs at depths of approximately 2 kilometres below the Earth's surface.
Origin considers the Innamincka Joint Ventures to have the most prospective acreage of its kind in Australia.
For more information, visit www.geodynamics.com.au
Additional geothermal developments
Origin's work with Geodynamics is complemented by the company's ownership of a large geothermal exploration tenement located adjacent to the Innamincka tenements.
Origin is also working with joint venture partners Tata Power and PT Supraco on the Sorik Marapi conventional geothermal concession in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
It is estimated the Sorik Marapi concession could support the development of 200–300 MW of geothermal generation capacity. Origin has a 47.5 per cent interest in the concession.
In May 2011, Origin acquired a 40 per cent interest in, Energía Andina S.A. (EASA) of Chile. EASA has established a portfolio of eight geothermal exploration projects in the Northern and Central regions of Chile. Preliminary assessment of the geothermal potential of Chile indicates a possible 16,000 MW of resource available. Chile is located on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and has considerable prospective geothermal hot spots, estimated to make up 60 per cent of the total Latin American geothermal resources.
- Geothermal fact sheet (529KB)