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El Ceibillo - Guatemala

El Ciebillo El Ciebillo
Setting up drill rig on EC-2 drill site Setting up drill rig on EC-2 drill site
Drilling on EC-2 at El Ceibillo Drilling on EC-2 at El Ceibillo
Island Drilling core rig ready to drill at EC-2 Island Drilling core rig ready to drill at EC-2

In Depth

The El Ceibillo geothermal project is located 14 kilometers southwest of Guatemala City in the Republic of Guatemala. The Company was granted geothermal energy rights to the concession in April 2010. The concession contains 24,710 acres in the center of the Aqua and Pacaya twin volcano complex.

On December 28, 2012 an environmental report titled “Construction and Operation of the Geothermal Electric Plant, El Ceibillo” was submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. This report is an EIS level review of the potential impacts from development of a 25 megawatt power plant and satisfied a requirement of the contract that granted the concession. A public review period concluded on January 29, 2013 without any comments received and it is now under formal review by the Ministry.

The El Ceibillo geothermal project area has nine existing geothermal wells that were drilled in the 1990s and have depths ranging from 560 to 2,000 feet (170 to 610 meters). Six of the wells have measured reservoir temperatures in the range of 365°F to 400°F and have high conductive gradients that indicate rapidly increasing temperature with depth. Fluid samples and mineralization from the wells indicate the existence of a high permeability reservoir below the existing well field.

An initial development of a 25 megawatt, flash steam power plant is planned in the El Ceibillo area of the concession, but the final size of the facility will be determined after drilling and resource delineation has advanced. A binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) was signed on October 18, 2012 with one of the largest power brokers in Central America. The MOU establishes the framework for a PPA that includes a 15-year term for an initially estimated 25 megawatts of power generation up to a maximum of 50 megawatts of power generation.

Ongoing Development Activities

Government approval in 2015 of a modified project development schedule allowed U.S. Geothermal to proceed with exploratory drilling in the latter half of the year.  The drilling program led to the discovery of a commercial reservoir with a temperature of approximately 392 degrees F (200 degrees C).  The newly drilled wells were tested in order to acquire data for a reservoir model.  Additional drilling is anticipated in 2016 and plans are proceeding for a power plant of approximately 25 MW with the ultimate output depending on further reservoir evaluation. 

With the confirmation of a commercial resource, discussions with potential off takers are underway and there is a possibility of a geothermal power Request for Proposal from the Guatemalan government.

Progress Report

  • El Ciebillo
  • Island Drilling Core Rig on TG-3
  • EC-1 flowing
  • Vocano Pacaya steaming week after small eruption
  • Setting up drill rig on EC-2 drill site
  • Drilling on EC-2 at El Ceibillo
  • Island Drilling core rig ready to drill at EC-2