• State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will be participating to generate electricity through Geothermal Energy at Puga, a remote valley located in Ladakh, off the road to Chumar on the de-facto border with China.
  • Puga Valley is situated in the Changthang Valley in the south-eastern part of Ladakh, about 22 km away from the Salt Lake Valley.
  • It is a region of great significance known for its natural beauty and geothermal activities.
  • Puga is also visited for its hot sulphur spring.

Geothermal Project:

  • It will be India’s first geothermal energy project and also the world’s highest at 14,000ft.
  • ONGC has started drilling its first well for the project and encountered high-pressure steam at 100 degrees Celsius with a discharge rate of 100 tonne geothermal energy per hour, considered as a good sign for the project.
  • In the first phase, the company will drill 1,000-metre-deep wells to run a one-megawatt power plant as a pilot.
  • The second phase envisages a deeper exploration of the geothermal reservoir and a higher capacity demonstration plant.
  • The third phase would involve commercial development of the geothermal plant.


  • It will boost Ladakh’s potential to emerge as one of the country’s clean energy bowl by expanding the area’s horizon beyond solar or wind power.
  • The pilot plant provides power and heating needs of the nearby settlements of Tibetan pastoralist refugee settlements at Sumdo and nearby areas.
  • A bigger plant will provide 24X7 supply for the far-flung settlements and the large defence establishment in the eastern sector, reducing their dependence on diesel for running generators.
  • The plant can also play a vital role as a stabiliser for the 15-gigawatt solar/wind project being planned in the nearby Morey plains in the southwest.

Some of the prominent places where a power plant can be established based on geothermal energy are:

  1. Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh
  2. Jalgaon in Maharashtra
  3. Tapovan in Uttarakhand
  4. Bakreshwar in West Bengal
  5. Tuwa in Gujarat

Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth. This heat is used for bathing, to heat buildings, and to generate electricity.

  • The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat), and geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because heat is continuously produced inside the earth.


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