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ONGC plans drilling for first geothermal project in Ladakh

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to mount fresh drilling for India’s first geothermal project in June, 2024. It could start a source for emission-free electricity, and for this project, ONGC is being advised by consultants from Iceland.

The company plans to begin drilling the first well in the second or third week of June and complete two geothermal wells of 1,000 mtrs. depth each by September-end. If successful, a power plant of at least one MW capacity will be set up by next year.

The geothermal wells help pipe hot water or steam to the surface, which will help to power a turbine to generate electricity. Water with a temperature of 220 degrees centigrade is expected at Puga in Ladakh, and the steam would be used to produce electricity and then for space heating, aqua farming and herbal spa.

ONGC has already awarded the drilling contract for the project, and the contractor is expected to have advanced equipment, including a blow-out preventor. Third-party inspection of equipment is currently being carried out at the contractor’s sites, while mobilisation will start in the first week of May.

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