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The Te Mihi project

As New Zealand’s demand for energy continues to grow and concern about climate change increases, new sources of renewable energy are needed. Geothermal energy uses the heat from deep inside the earth to generate electricity – it’s renewable, capable of generating large amounts of electricity and, unlike wind and hydro generation, doesn’t depend on the weather. Electricity produced from geothermal energy is always available, providing a vital role in a secure power supply.Contact is developing geothermal projects as a priority.

The Te Mihi project (also referred to as the Wairakei Investment Programme) is a $750 million programme of investments that safely and sustainably expands the use of the Wairakei steamfield. It includes the construction of a new power station; development of the steamfield so separated geothermal water can be reinjected; a bioreactor project to remove hydrogen sulphide from cooling water discharged to the river; life extension work at the Wairakei geothermal power station; drilling of production and reinjection wells and developing people and business systems for managing the new assets in the future.

The Te Mihi power station is now in construction and is due for completion in 2013. It will include two new steam turbine generators of 83 MW each, constructed near the 53-year-old Wairakei geothermal power station, northwest of Taupo.

The new power station will produce 166 megawatts of electricity. Once the Te Mihi power station is completed, some of its generation will replace older parts of the existing Wairakei geothermal station, which will eventually be taken out of commission. The result will initially be an increase in output from the two power stations of about 114 megawatts, enough to power over 100,000 average homes.

Contact is one of New Zealand’s leading generators of geothermal electricity, generating around five per cent of New Zealand’s total energy from its geothermal operations in the Taupo region. See our brochure on geothermal energy and our geothermal power stations. Te Mihi power station will be an important addition to Contact's geothermal assets.

If you have any questions on the Te Mihi project please contact us.

Want to know about job opportunities on this project? Please email resourcingteam@contactenergy.co.nz or phone Natalie Cassin on +64 4 462 1259. Or you can register your interest and submit your CV here.