Mighty River Power recently signed agreements with Okere Incorporation and Ruahine Kuharua Incorporation for the investigation and development of geothermal power generation on the Taheke field, 20kms northeast of Rotorua.The development agreements, for what will be known as the Te ia a Tutea Development, enable initial exploration and feasibility study of the geothermal resource and provide for long-term co-ownership of any subsequent developments.
Mighty River Power General Manager Development, Mark Trigg, said the signing symbolised a milestone in the Company’s long-standing relationship with both Okere and Ruahine Kuharua.Mighty River Power’s joint development approach with Maori Land Trusts has been the platform for the Company’s significant growth in geothermal over the past decade, supported by its now internationally recognised expertise he said.The Taheke resource was thought to be of medium temperature spanning an area potentially comparable to the Rotokawa field, where the Company has completed its most recent development, Nga Awa Purua.
Chairman of Okere Incorporation, Don Bennett, said the Te ia a Tutea agreements reflected the mutual understanding between all parties about co-ownership and sustainable development of the resource.He said that Okere had been in discussions with Mighty River Power for many years and over that time mutual respect and trust was formed. Having also observed the successes of the partnership between Mighty River Power and Tauhara North No.2 Trust it was a natural choice to select Mighty River Power as their geothermal partner.Chairman of Ruahine Kuharua Incorporation, David Wickliffe, said “This is a landmark development where two Maori landowners have agreed to come together with respect to geothermal development in the spirit of whanaungatanga. Signing these agreements marks a significant milestone”.Mr Trigg said that subject to consenting arrangements, exploration drilling is expected to start on the field within the next 12 months.