Published On: Tue, Feb 9th, 2021

ONGC signs MoU to develop geothermal fields in Ladakh

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India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Corporation (ONGC) has announced the first-ever geothermal field development project in India at for producing power from the Puga and Chumathang geothermal fields.

In this connection, the oil and gas major, through its subsidiary ONGC Energy Centre (OEC), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Territory of Ladakh and , Leh.

ONGC stated: “This MoU, which was signed in the presence of Ladakh Lieutenant Governor, is the first step towards creating a Carbon Neutral Ladakh, a clarion call given by Prime Minister of India on Independence Day 2020.”

According to ONCG, the development of geothermal resources can revolutionize farming in Ladakh, which is currently fully dependent on the supply of fresh vegetables, from outside the union territory throughout the year.

ONGC signs MoU to develop geothermal fields in Ladakh

ONGC signs MoU to develop geothermal fields in Ladakh. Photo courtesy of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

The oil and gas public sector company further said that direct heat energy applications using geothermal power make it most relevant to Ladakh.

ONGC will develop the Ladakh geothermal fields in three phases.

The first phase will see the drilling of exploratory and production wells up to 500 meters depth and installing a pilot plant of up to 1MW power capacity.

In the second phase of the Indian geothermal power project, ONGC will target deeper and lateral exploration of the geothermal reservoir by drilling of an ideal number of wells and placing a higher capacity demo plant before preparing a detailed project report.

The third phase will be to target commercial development of the geothermal power plant.

Discovered in the 1970s, the Puga and Chumathang geothermal fields in Eastern Ladakh saw initial exploratory activities that were carried out in the 1980s by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

ONGC stated: “But development efforts to exploit geothermal energy by government as well as private agencies did not materialize for some reasons. After creation of UT Ladakh, efforts were taken up earnestly by ONGC Energy Centre, culminating in this MoU.”

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