Already a shareholder in Geodynamics, Origin has entered into a binding heads of agreement to take a 30% stake in an unincorporated joint venture covering Geodynamicsâ€™ South Australian geothermal tenements and associated assets, Origin managing director Grant King said today.
â€œWe believe that geothermal energy will play an increasing role in securing the worldâ€™s future needs for clean energy,â€ King said.
â€œGeodynamicsâ€™ tenements are amongst the most prospective geothermal areas in Australia and include some of the hottest rocks in the world.â€
King said Origin had consistently positioned itself to pursue growth opportunities in renewable energy and lower-emission technologies such as gas, and was committed to being Australiaâ€™s leading fuel-integrated energy company in an increasingly carbon-constrained economy.
The 30% stake in the joint venture will see Origin provide technical and related support through its extensive experience in upstream gas exploration and production, gas-fired power generation and through its exposure to geothermal power generation in New Zealand, the company said.
Origin said it will also commit to $96 million of joint venture project expenditure, in addition to its 30% share.
If Geodynamics, as operator, completes its Stage One â€˜proof of conceptâ€™ phase within budget by March 31, 2008, Origin will commit a further $9.6 million. This would bring Originâ€™s total anticipated commitment to project expenditure over the next two to three years to about $150 million.
King said Origin intends to retain its 10% shareholding in Geodynamics, and also retain the rights acquired when it first invested in Geodynamics as a cornerstone shareholder.