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Geothermal plant on the cards

Rotorua could be getting a geothermal power plant, with the Tikitere Limited Partnership investigating resources on land between Lake Rotoiti & SH 30, Rotorua.

Rotorua could be getting a geothermal power plant, with the Tikitere Limited Partnership investigating resources on land between Lake Rotoiti & SH 30, Rotorua.

The Overseas Investment Office has given the go-ahead for TLP (wholly owned by Ormat Technologies in the US, a NYSE-listed energy company) to acquire up to 902.244 hectares of land with a view to building and operating a geothermal power plant.

TLP has entered into a ‘build, operate and transfer’ agreement with New Zealand-owned Tikitere Geothermal Power Limited (a joint venture vehicle for the various Maori trusts that own and administer the land) where TLP's interest in the land and ownership of the power plant will revert to TGPL once TLP has had the benefit of operating the facilities for a period of time or the agreement is terminated.

The OIO said the establishment of the plant was expected to cost more than $100 million.

The "substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand" criteria were satisfied in regard to the creation and retention of jobs; economic interests; and advancing government strategy.