RENO, Nev., May 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ormat Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ORA) provides an update on the Puna geothermal power plant located about 15 miles away from the Kilauea volcano, which erupted on May 3, 2018 and which continues to erupt and flow lava.
Plant and company personnel have been and continue to be in close communication with local and state authorities, as well as HELCO officials, regarding the Puna facility. Several steps have been taken to secure the Puna facilities in accordance with its emergency response plan. These steps include:
- Taking electricity generation offline
- Shutting down all the geothermal wells
- Placing physical barriers around, and protective coverings over, the geothermal wells
- Removing flammable materials from the facility to a storage area off-site
- Working together with the state emergency agencies on implementing measures to secure the geothermal wells and mitigate any hazards to the surrounding area and damage to the geothermal wells
According to the alert issued by U.S. Geological Survey on May 14, 2018, the eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. This eruption is still evolving, and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues, and seismic activity remains elevated in the area. However, topographical paths of steepest descent for possible lava flows are around and away from the power plant in the direction of the ocean. This gives the Company confidence that there is a low risk of surface lava impacting or making its way to the facility.
“Currently there is no physical damage to the Puna facilities above-ground, however, we will be able to assess the impact of the volcanic eruption on the Puna geothermal wells only after the situation stabilizes,” commented Isaac Angel, CEO of Ormat Technologies. “We continue to monitor the situation in coordination with HELCO, and with local and state authorities. We expect to restore the Puna operations as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The 38 MW Puna power plant, which is owned and operated by Puna Geothermal Venture GP (PGV), reflects approximately 4.5% of Ormat’s total generating capacity. In 2017, PGV generated approximately $11 million of net income and $20 million of Adjusted EBITDA. Ormat owns a 63.25% interest in PGV and the balance is held by its partner, an affiliate of Northleaf Capital Partners.
Ormat has property and business interruption insurance policies that include insurance coverage in the event of volcanic eruptions and earthquake in an amount of up to $100 million (combined). The Company is working with its insurance broker and provided notice to its insurance carriers regarding the situation at Puna and expects to submit a claim under its business interruption cover.
Any significant physical damage to, or extended shut-down of, the Puna facilities could have an adverse impact on the power plant’s electricity generation and availability, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
ABOUT ORMAT TECHNOLOGIES
With over five decades of experience, Ormat Technologies, Inc. is a leading geothermal Company and the only vertically integrated Company engaged in geothermal and recovered energy generation (REG), with the objective of becoming a leading global provider of renewable energy. The Company owns, operates, designs, manufactures and sells geothermal and REG power plants primarily based on the Ormat Energy Converter – a power generation unit that converts low-, medium- and high-temperature heat into electricity. With 77 U.S. patents, Ormat’s power solutions have been refined and perfected under the most grueling environmental conditions. Ormat has 530 employees in the United States and 770 overseas. Ormat’s flexible, modular solutions for geothermal power and REG are ideal for the vast range of resource characteristics. The Company has engineered, manufactured and constructed power plants, which it currently owns or has installed to utilities and developers worldwide, totaling over 2,600 MW of gross capacity. Ormat’s current 851 MW generating portfolio is spread globally in the U.S., Guatemala, Guadeloupe, Honduras, Indonesia and Kenya. In March 2017, Ormat expanded its operations to provide energy storage and energy management solutions, by leveraging its core capabilities and global presence as well as through its Viridity Energy Solutions Inc. subsidiary, a Philadelphia-based Company with nearly a decade of expertise and leadership in energy storage, demand response and energy management.
ORMAT’S SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Information provided in this press release may contain statements relating to current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about future events that are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally relate to Ormat’s plans, objectives and expectations for future operations and are based upon its management’s current estimates and projections of future results or trends. Actual future results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see “Risk Factors” as described in Ormat Technologies, Inc.’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 16, 2018.
These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Ormat Technologies Contact:
VP Corporate Finance and Head of Investor Relations
775-356-9029 (ext. 65726)
Investor Relations Agency Contact:
Hayden – IR