Ladakh To Get India's First Geothermal Energy Project As ONGC Signs MoU With UT AdministrationA hot spring in Ladakh.

Ladakh is set to be home to the nation's first-ever geothermal field development project under which heat generated by the earth's core will be used to generate clean energy, reports Economic Times.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will be implementing the project. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize this has been inked by ONGC Energy Centre (OEC) with the Union Territory of Ladakh and Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh on 6 February.

The development gains significance as geothermal energy is clean and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

ONGC will implement the project in Ladakh in three phases, with the first phase involving exploratory-cum-production drilling of wells up to 500 m depth and setting up of a pilot plant of up to 1 megawatt (MW) power capacity.

Thereafter, in the second phase of the ambitious project, a deeper and lateral exploration of the geothermal reservoir will be taken up by drilling of an optimal number of wells and setting up of a higher capacity demo plant and preparing a detailed project report. Finally, in the third phase, commercial development will be taken up.

As per the statement issued by ONGC, Puga and Chumathang in Eastern Ladakh are most promising geothermal fields in India.

"These areas were discovered in 1970s and initial exploratory efforts were made in 1980s by Geological Survey of India (GSI). 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," the statement said.

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