Ngatamariki Geothermal Exploration

Ngatamariki, New Zealand
Tauhara North No. 2 Trust

A complex exploration and drilling program in New Zealand involved drilling three wells to a depth of 3,000 meters while remaining within the planned budget and schedule constraints. The project team, led by Dan Hoyer, successfully extracted core samples and performed detailed logging and testing to confirm the commercial potential of a new 7-square-kilometer resource area.

A comprehensive 30-year development plan underwent review, focusing on geothermal reserves, drilling schedules, and operational budgets to ensure the project’s financial feasibility. The project was approved with an investment of $475 million, and construction ran between July 2011 and September 2013.

This effort resulted in the Ngatamariki power plant, the most prominent binary geothermal power plant globally, with an 82-megawatt capacity. This facility operates with environmental efficiency by using dry cooling technology for zero carbon emissions while consistently delivering 700 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year.

1. Preliminary Reconnaissance and Surface Exploration
2. Drilling Exploration
3. Feasibility Study