Kawerau will be home to a new geothermal powerplant following a deal made between the Te Ahi O Maui partnership and an Israeli company, Ormat.
The Te Ahi O Maui geothermal project is a partnership between Eastland Generation and the Kawerau A8D Ahu Whenua Trust, who are owners of the land on which the plant will be constructed.
Ormat is a world-leader in the development and construction of state of the art geothermal power solutions.
Project Manager Ben Gibson said he expected construction to start towards the end of this year with completion likely in 2018.
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He believed the new plant would deliver in excess of 22 megawatts of electricity.
Te Ahi O Maui chairman and Eastland Ground chief executive Matt Todd said he was pleased the project had partnered with Ormat for construction of the powerplant.
"[Ormat] has the necessary skills and knowledge that we can rely on for the successful delivery of the Te Ahi O Maui project."
Trustee for the Kawerau A8D Ahu Whenua Trust and cultural advisor to the project, Tomairangi Fox, said the milestone was significant for his people.
"We've seen the other Ormat plants here in Kawerau and further afield. We liked what we saw and this company's operations and plants fit with our kaupapa," he said.
Colleen Skerrett-White, owner and past-trustee of the A8D Trust, said they had measures in place so Te Ahi O Maui would have minimal impact on the surrounding environment and its people.
"Our standards for environmental care go over and above Regional Council consent conditions. Our project team has worked really hard to ensure the project is executed in an environmentally friendly, sustainable and culturally appropriate way."
Te Ahi O Maui holds resource consent for the take and discharge of 15,000 tonnes per day of geothermal fluid from the Kawerau geothermal reservoir.