Miner submits geothermal concession request to ministry

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Canadian miner has submitted a geothermal concession request to Guatemala's energy and mines ministry, a geothermal division official from state power company Inde told BNamericas.

The request is for an area known as Agua Blanca in Jutiapa department where the miner is developing a gold project, according to the official.

Additional details, including the miner's name, were not immediately available from Inde or the ministry.

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Jutiapa along with neighboring Santa Rosa department and San Marcos department to the northwest are the current focus of Inde's geothermal plans.

The plans, however, are on standby as officials from President Álvaro Colom's government are reviewing the power sector's situation to define policy, the official said. Colom took office in January this year.

Plans include bidding to carry out a geophysical exploratory study of the Tecuamburro geothermal area in Santa Rosa whose generation potential would range from 25-50MW.

Guatemala's only geothermal production comes from US firm Ormat, which operates the 20MW Amatitlan and 24MW Zunil plants.

In 2007, the country's geothermal output represented 2.9% of Guatemala's production, which reached 7.94TWh, according to statistics from wholesale market administrator AMM.