21/04/2009 - 14:10

Geothermal firms get $14m grants

21/04/2009 - 14:10

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Only two companies were allocated funds in the first round of the federal government's $50 million Geothermal Drilling Program with West Perth-based Torrens Energy one of the companies to miss out.

Geothermal firms get $14m grants

Only two companies were allocated funds in the first round of the federal government's $50 million Geothermal Drilling Program with West Perth-based Torrens Energy one of the companies to miss out.

The program is providing grants of up to $7 million on a matching funding basis to support the high cost of drilling deep geothermal wells.

Geothermal energy producers pump water below ground where it is heated by hot rocks. The heat energy is then used to generate electricity.

MNGI Pty Ltd was awarded $7 million for its Paralana geothermal energy project located in the Adelaide Fold Belt while Queensland company Panax Geothermal also received $7 million for its Limestone Coast geothermal project.

In a statement today, Torrens said project timing had played a major part in funds not being awarded in comparison to the successful applicants that had more advanced projects.

Torrens holds three geothermal projects in South Australia, all located in proximity to the national electricity grid.

"We are confident that our current plans to advance our geothermal projects will give the Company a stronger chance of meeting the eligibility criteria for Round 2," Torrens executive director John Canaris said.

Shares in Torrens shed 4.5 cents to 24.5 cents at 15:47 AEST.

Up to $50 million has been set aside from the government's $500 million Renewable Energy Fund for the Geothermal Drilling Program.


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