Geothermal Development In New Zealand

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Journal Article: Geothermal Development In New Zealand

Since 1964 exploration wells have been drilled in seven areas. High temperatures up to 306°C were encountered in most of them. The fields at Tauhara and Broadlands are the most productive and development work has been concentrated at the latter. All of the fields are hot water aquifers. By September 1969 fifteen wells had been drilled at Broadlands to depths ranging between 2500 and 4600 feet, the maximum temperature being 295°C. Many of the wells yield high outputs of steam. Gas in the steam averages 6% to 7% by weight. Drawdown in the aquifer during discharge of a well is considerable and recovery after closure is slow. Some wells are prone to calcite deposition. Development of the field to generate 120 MW is considered reasonable. Two deep exploratory wells have been drilled, one at Broadlands 7933 feet deep and one at Wairakei 7395 feet deep. These represent an approximate increase of 75% of previously explored depths and have proved the existence of high temperature water at those depths. For some years geothermal steam has been used at Kawerau for process heat in mills producing newsprint, kraft pulp and sawn timber, and for generating electric power. Five wells currently produce 369,000 lb/hr of steam. Heat exchangers are installed to produce clean steam for some of the processes.

J. H. Smith

Published Journal 
Geothermics, 1970




J. H. Smith. 1970. Geothermal Development In New Zealand. Geothermics. (!) .