Friday, August 6, 2021
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1.2 Geothermal Energy

The Program aims to systematically map out the geothermal resources of the country. Four geothermal provinces have been mapped since 2010; they are the Kairuru Island in East Sepik, Wau Bulolo in Morobe, Hoskins and Talasea in West New Britain and Fergusson Island in Milne Bay. Investigations on the latter two provinces were conducted with funding assistance from World Bank TAII program.

Kairiru Island survey identified a low temperature geothermal system with calculated sub-surface temperature of 86-125 ˚C. The surface manifestations occur along the southern margins of Victoria Bay.  Geophysics (D.C Resistivity and Seismic Refraction) surveys were also conducted to assist identify geothermal areas. For full report on these investigations, refer to report by Mosusu et al., 2010.

The Wau-Bulolo survey revealed low temperature hot springs of 40-70 ˚C. Geochemistry analysis indicated most hot springs were contaminated by surface/groundwater. The surface manifestations were not related to volcanism and possibly related to hot intrusive body heating up percolating waters at depth or deep magmatic activity related to regional tectonics. For full report, refer to report by Lahan et al., 2015

The Talasea and Hoskins surveys indicated high temperature systems. Geochemical analysis showed promising areas at Pangalu and Talasea Station with subsurface temperatures of close to 300 ˚C while Silanga and Kasiloli were 250-300 ˚C. For full report, refer to report by Lahan et al., 2013. Geophyscis (Schlumburger Resistivity) survey was also conducted at the Pangalu thermal area and results summarised by Verave et al., 2014

Fergusson Island investigation revealed Deidei hot springs to be more promising than the Iamalele springs. Geochemistry analysis of the hot springs from Deidei field gave an estimated subsurface temperature of 270 ˚C. Refer to full report by Irarue et al., 2015.