Ladakh will get India’s first geothermal power project to tap the potential of natural geysers dotting the Puga area, 170 km east of Leh and not far from the China border, in Changthang plains.
In the first phase, ONGC will drill upto 500 metres to tap the steam and hot sulphur water spewing out of the geysers for running a power plant with a capacity of one MW (megawatt). In the second phase, deeper drilling will be done to explore the potential of the thermal reservoir. A commercial scale power plant will be set up in the third phase.
Ladakh L-G R K Mathur reckons the area can support a power generation capacity of 250 MW. The pilot plant can take care of power needs of the nearby Tibetan refugee settlements of Sumdo. But a larger plant can come in handy to cover the intermittency of the solar projects being planned in the surrounding areas of Morey plains and Hanley-Khaldo.