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Lava Damages Puna Geothermal Venture Power Plant

June 1, 2018, 8:04 AM HST
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Lava encroaches upon Puna Geothermal Venture. Courtesy photo

Ormat Technologies Inc. provided an update on its Puna Geothermal Venture power plant on May 30, 2018.

Due to the approaching lava, the substation of the Puna complex and an adjacent warehouse that stored a drilling rig burned.

Both items are expected to be covered by the company’s insurance policies.

Ormat has property and business interruption insurance policies that include insurance coverage in a combined amount of up to $100 million in the event of volcanic eruptions and earthquake.

The company is working with its insurance broker and has provided notice to its insurance carriers regarding the situation at Puna.


Any significant physical damage to or extended shut-down of the Puna facilities could have a material adverse impact on the power plant’s electricity generation and availability, which in turn could have an adverse impact on the company’s business and results of operations.


Due to the long lead time of constructing a new substation and the extent of the damage to Hawai‘i Electric Light Company’s transmission lines, the company cannot assess when the Puna complex will be able to resume operation and deliver power to the grid.

The approaching lava also covered and blocked the main access road to the power plant. An alternative access road is currently open.

The approaching lava covered the wellheads of two geothermal wells. The company cannot assess at this stage the extent of the damage to the future functionality of these wells.


As of May 30, the lava did not cover any additional wells. The lava continues to flow and may reach other wells and areas of the Puna facility.



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