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NZ/Chile´s Strategic Partnership in Geothermal Energy

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Press Release 11th April 2013 (C) NZTE


During the 2013 International Geothermal Energy Congress in Santiago, New Zealand  showcases its geothermal leadership and experience with environmental and community engagement projects in this industry.


Santiago, April 11th, 2013 – Geothermal New Zealand, an initiative representing the leading companies involved in the New Zealand geothermal value chain, will play an important role during the 2nd Annual International Geothermal Congress, ACHEGEO 2013 taking place this week in Santiago. The delegation, comprising of scientists, consultants and construction specialists will have the opportunity to demonstrate their full portfolio of professional services and expertise in geothermal development carried out in New Zealand.

New Zealand is a pioneer in geothermal electricity production and today is positioned as one of the most important leaders in this sector globally. Geothermal power contributes approximately 15 per cent to the country´s electricity matrix, and Wairakei, built in 1957, was the first geothermal power plant globally to operate using wet steam and is still operating today.

“There are some 70 New Zealand companies with geothermal expertise across the value chain; from exploration and drilling through to design, project management, construction and operation, says President of Geothermal New Zealand, Bernard Hill. “For ACHEGEO 2013 we brought across some of our top organisations in this field, interested in showcasing their activities and sharing their knowledge and experience with the Chilean industry”.

Under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiatives, New Zealand scientists have led the exploration of a large number of fields internationally. New Zealand companies in the geothermal sector are supplying and consulting various partners in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and a range of countries in Asia and Africa.

“There is a clear global demand for the skills of New Zealand power companies, engineers, universities and scientists. We see great opportunities to foster this strategic partnership in geothermal energy in Chile, where there is an increasing demand for energy supply due to the favourable domestic economic conditions and the expansion of high consumption sectors like mining”, says Rhianon Berry, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise´s trade commissioner in Chile.

Due to the favourable resources it possesses, Chile is definitely one of the most attractive countries for the utilisation of geothermal energy, which is considered environmentally clean and sustainable.

“The geothermal industry has been evolving significantly in the last few years and today is regarded as one of the most innovative and promising sectors as a clean, renewable and reliable source of energy”, concludes Hill.

Participating organizations represented at the New Zealand booth at ACHEGEO 2013 are:

Geothermal New Zealand,  an industry collaboration that represent around 30 companies and extends the diverse skills of New Zealand´s geothermal sector to countries exploring their geothermal potential. The organisation gathers experts at every stage of a geothermal development, applying international best practices in exploration, resource confirmation, feasibility, design and procurement, construction, commissioning and operations. More information:

GNS Science provides geophysical, geochemical, geological and environmental advice for geothermal developments in New Zealand and internationally. The GNS team has worked in over 35 countries and pioneers a range of innovative scientific techniques, globally, the geothermal team ranks highly in geology, petrology, clay mineralogy, geochemistry and geophysics. More information:

Hawkins Infrastructure is the largest privately owned New Zealand general contractor. A division of Hawkins Construction, Hawkins Infrastructure, has a specialist Open Spaces and Environmental team with a successful record of completing some of the most prestigious projects in New Zealand and overseas. It has won numerous awards for projects and personnel over the past decades. More information:

MB Century is a comprehensive geothermal and energy solutions provider, offering everything involved with energy extraction, reservoir logging, steam field design, construction and maintenance, right up to where power is generated and dispatched. Providing services to the oil, gas and geothermal sectors, it employs over 500 people across three business units in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia and has been involved in the drilling of over 1,000 geothermal wells, and in the development of every major geothermal field in New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines in the past 60 years. More information:

The University of Auckland´s Geothermal Institute is a widely acknowledged global centre for postgraduate studies in geothermal earth sciences and engineering. Since 1978 the Institute has provided research and training for the New Zealand and international geothermal industries. It is one of the premier geothermal training centres in the world and has been receiving an increasing number of Chilean students. The Institute has established exchange programmes with national universities such as Universidad Católica de Chile y Universidad de Concepción and receives scholarship students through the NZ Aid programme. More information:  


Facts & Figures about the Geothermal Energy


  • Global geothermal generation is around 11,000 MW, which represents 0,4 percent of the global power generatio
  •  Estimates suggest this will more than double in the next 10 years – an investment of some US$ 40 billion;
  • In 2011 renewable energy (hydro, geothermal and wind generation) accounted for 77 percent of New Zealand´s electricity supply and the target for 2025 is 90%.
  • New Zealand today has almost 800MW installed, with 2 new plants to be commissioned during 2013
  • New Zealand scientific and engineering skills have contributed to at least 2,000 MW of geothermal power developments internationally.