Geodynamics Limited, a leading Australian geothermal exploration and development company, and its joint venture partner Kentor Energy Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of KGL Resources Ltd, have received development consent relating to exploration activities for the proposed 20 MW Savo Island geothermal power project in Solomon Islands from the Solomon Islands Department of Environment.
The granting of development consent follows review of the Savo Island Geothermal Project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP). The ESIA and EMP provide a comprehensive guide to the monitoring, mitigation and remediation measures that will be implemented by Geodynamics for exploration drilling activities.
With the approval of the ESIA and EMP and granting of development consent for exploration drilling, Geodynamics and Kentor Energy have secured all the necessary regulatory approvals to commence geothermal drilling activities on Savo Island, which located 14 km north of Guadalcanal. An active volcano, it has a pair of inactive but potentially dangerous craters, one inside the other, a number of hot springs and thermal mud pools, Megapode birds, and an eye-catching shoreline.
“With regulatory approvals in place, our focus is now on concluding negotiations with the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority and Solomon Islands Government on the key terms of the power purchase agreement necessary to underwrite the project,” Geoff Ward, Geodynamics CEO, explained. “We are excited at the prospect of starting exploration drilling later this year to further progress this project that has material benefits for the Solomon Islands.”
The ESIA highlighted the potential positive impacts for the Solomon Islands from the proposed projects, by replacing imported diesel fuel with a sustainable locally produced electricity supply. This would make the Solomon Islands less dependent on imported fuel, while also increasing reliability of supply at reduced end user prices. The report also found that the geothermal project would more broadly benefit the Solomon Islands economy by contributing to socio-economic development through direct and indirect employment and training opportunities, as well as increased business and industry opportunities in Honiara and through the greater demand for goods and services to support exploration activities.
Honiara has a peak electricity consumption of approximately 14 MW, with an average base load of 8.5 MW, with the Gold Ridge Mine being another major energy consumer on Guadalcanal consuming electricity on the order of 12 to 18 MW. Based on the current electricity demand from Honiara and industrial operations nearby, Geodynamics project, could be capable of supplying 100 per cent of all base load power to the region.