Japanese geothermal targets Latin America

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd., a venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd., is eyeing Latin America to export its geothermal turbines, hoping to supply equipment for projects backed by Japan’s aid agency.

The company, which announced winning an order in October to supply a 55-megawatt turbine for a project in Costa Rica, is looking at countries like Mexico, Nicaragua and Ecuador, Yoshio Minato, geothermal area manager for Yokohama-based MHPS, said in an interview.

Support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency has been key for geothermal projects abroad, Minato said. The agency has provided low-interest loans for the drilling of geothermal wells and construction.

Three Japanese companies make up for about 65 percent of total installed capacity for geothermal turbines worldwide, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Toshiba Corp. leads with 3,011 megawatts, followed by Fuji Electric Co.’s 2,722 megawatts and 2,661 megawatts for MHPS.

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