San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Geothermal Site Blows Its Top

Drillers hoping to tap energy from a geothermal source outside León encountered a small “blowout” this week, raising some concerns about the progress of an expansion project at the Polaris plant.

The explosion launched mounds of clay in the air, but there were no injuries reported and the damage is not expected to hold up the project, Polaris Geothermal stated.

The Canadian-based company is developing a 66-megawatt energy plant in the town of San Jacinto, which sits on a geothermal field on the folds of the Telica Volcano.

While drilling a well on Aug. 15, workers dug into a high-pressure, shallow-steam zone that blew open part of the surface.

Polaris Geothermal stated that such discharges are not uncommon, and the hole has since been filled with cement, preventing it from spreading.

The company said that drilling should resume within the next three weeks and they do not anticipate “that this incident will have a significant impact on the startup or cost of the expansion.”


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