Official: CFE identifies 7 high potential geothermal zones

- Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Official: CFE identifies 7 high potential geothermal zones

Mexico's state power company CFE has identified seven zones in the country with high geothermal power potential, the company's geothermal division head Raúl Maya said at an international geothermal conference in Chilean capital Santiago.

The zones are Tulecheck and Piedras de Lumbre in the north, El Ceboruco and Cerritos Colorados in the center and Acoculco, Tacaná and Chichonal in the south.

Mexico's current installed geothermal power capacity of 958MW is the third largest in the world after the US (2.54GW) and the Philippines (1.98GW), according to Maya.

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Fields in production are Cerro Prieto (720MW), Los Azufres (188MW), Los Humeros (40MW) and Las Tres Virgenes (10MW).

Bidding is underway for the Humeros II (stage A) and Humeros II (stage B) which would add 25MW and 21MW respectively, the CFE official said.

Another project is the 100MW Cerro Prieto V plant, the bidding process for which was declared void earlier this year.

Maya said CFE is reviewing Cerro Prieto V details with the aim of relaunching the tender. The current economic situation, however, has complicated the search for financing on the part of companies as banks are not willing to grant fixed-rate loans, he added.

At end-2007, the combined installed capacity of CFE and sister utility LFC reached 51.0GW with geothermal representing 2%.