New Delhi: Energy major ONGC will implement India's maiden 'Geothermal Field Development Project' in Ladakh.
A memorandum of understanding to formalise the plan has been inked between the ONGC Energy Centre (OEC) and the Union Territory of Ladakh and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council.
"This project of ONGC will put India on Geothermal Power map of the world," the company said in a statement.
"Geothermal resource development can revolutionise farming in Ladakh, which is now totally dependent for supply of fresh vegetables, fruits from outside the UT round the year. Further, direct heat energy applications make it most relevant to Ladakh."
According to the statement, ONGC has planned the field development in three phases.
"Phase I involves exploratory-cum-production drilling of wells up to 500 metres depth and setting up of a pilot plant of up to 1 MW power capacity. Phase II would involve deeper and lateral exploration of geothermal reservoir by drilling of optimal number of wells and setting up of a higher capacity demo plant and preparing a detailed project report."
"Phase III would involve commercial development of the geothermal plant."
At present, Puga and Chumathang in eastern Ladakh are the most promising geothermal fields in India.
"These areas were discovered in 1970s and initial exploratory efforts were made in 1980s by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). But development efforts to exploit geothermal energy by government as well as private agencies did not materialise for some reasons."
"After creation of UT Ladakh, efforts were taken up earnestly by ONGC Energy Centre, culminating in this MoU."