Ormat Industries

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Ormat Industries Ltd.
Traded as TASEORMT
Industry Alternative energy and Renewable energy
Founded 1965; 50 years ago (1965)
Headquarters Yavne, Israel
Key people
Lucien Bronicki (Chairman of the board, Dita Bronicki CEO)
Products Geothermal power solutions, Energy recovery solutions
Revenue Increase US$ 344.83 million (2008)
Increase $ 56.41 million (2008)
Profit Increase $ 49.83 million (2008)
Number of employees
1,069 (2008)
Subsidiaries Ormat Technologies Inc.
Website www.ormat.com

Ormat Industries Ltd. is a provider of alternative and renewable energy technology. To date the company has installed over 750 power units worldwide. Ormat also owns and operates 515 MW of geothermal and recovered energy based power plants.


Ormat was established in 1965 as Ormat Turbines Ltd., in Yavne, Israel, by engineer Lucien Bronicki (Chairman and CTO) and wife Yehudit "Dita" Bronicki (CEO).[1]

In the late 1950s Lucien Bronicki worked in a government physics laboratory, where he developed a turbine to produce electricity from a range of energy sources, including solar; the process is known as organic Rankine cycle, which he co-developed with Harry Zvi Tabor. He retired from the lab to commercialize his ideas and set up Ormat. In its early years the company focused exclusively on manufacturing power generation equipment.[2]

The 1970s energy crisis increased interest in efficient generation technology. To exploit this situation, Ormat obtained financial assistance from the Israeli government and raised capital from private investors to build one of the world's first solar-driven power stations. However the power station was not economically viable and was abandoned in 1988.[3]

During the 1980s Ormat developed generation systems utilizing recovered energy, i.e. heat emitted during industrial processes. The company also applied its technology to generate electricity from geothermal sources.

In the 1990s the company decided not only to provide power generation equipment, but also to own and operate alternative and renewable energy power stations.

In 1991 the company Ormat Industries listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and is currently included in the TA-25 Index.


The majority of Ormat Industries’ activities are currently held within its subsidiary, Ormat Technologies Inc. (NYSEORA), a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and based in Reno, Nevada. The company’s main production facilities are based in Yavne, Israel.

The company owns and operates geothermal power plants in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Kenya, New Zealand and Indonesia.


20MW binary power plant by Ormat at Steamboat Springs, Nevada, USA.

Thermal Energy[edit]

Ormat’s core technology is the Ormat Energy Converter (OEC) power generation unit. It converts low and medium temperature heat into electrical energy, with low or zero emission of CO2 and pollutants. The OEC's main components are a vaporizer/preheater, turbo-generator, air-cooled or water-cooled condenser, feed pump and controls. Ormat has installed more than 900 MW of geothermal and recovered energy generation (REG) power units, based on OEC technology.

Ormat’s technology is optimized for use in geothermal energy generation, and the company is the third largest geothermal producer in the United States. The technology is also suitable for Recovered energy power generation (REG), which converts waste heat from industrial processes into electricity that can be used on site or sold to power generation utilities. Ormat’s recovered energy solutions have been deployed in projects in Germany, Canada, India, USA and Japan.

Solar Energy[edit]

In the 1980s Ormat built and operated one of the world's first power stations to produce electricity from solar energy, located just north of the Dead Sea in Israel.[3] The plant utilized a technology known as Solar pond, a large-scale solar thermal energy collector with integral heat storage for supplying thermal energy. It was the largest operating solar pond ever built for electricity generation and operated up until 1988. It had an area of 210,000 m² and gave an electrical output of 5 MW.[4]

After the decommissioning of the Solar pool project Ormat was not active in the solar energy market until October 2009 when it announced that its subsidiary, Ormat Systems Ltd., has signed a Joint venture Agreement with Sunday Energy Ltd. to develop and operate solar-photovoltaic energy systems in Israel with a total capacity of 36 MW.[5]

Oil sands[edit]

Ormat has developed an energy-efficient technology, OrCrude, for extracting crude oil from Oil sands. The OrCrude process is claimed to be more efficient than other technologies as it includes gasification, which substantially reduces the requirement for natural gas, typically the largest input cost in an in-situ oil sands project. The technology is currently being utilized in the Long Lake project a joint venture between Nexen Inc. (TSXNXY) and OPTI Canada.[6]

Joint ventures[edit]

OPTI Canada[edit]

OPTI Canada Inc. (TSXOPC) was created in 1999 to develop integrated bitumen and heavy oil projects using Ormat's OrCrude upgrading technology. The company is based in Calgary and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. OPTI is focused on developing the fourth and next major integrated oil sands project in Canada, Phase 1 of the Long Lake Project (the Project), in a joint venture with Nexen Inc. in which OPTI Canada has a 35 percent working interest.

On November 28, 2011 it was announced the company had been acquired by CNOOC Luxembourg S.à r.l, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited. The total value of the Acquisition was approximately US$2.1 billion.[7]


Orfuel Inc. a US subsidiary of Ormat Industries is involved in a joint venture with Evogene Ltd. (TASEEVGN) to produced biodiesel from castor plants, in Namibia, Africa.[8]

Spin offs[edit]

Through the years Ormat has been involved in establishment and development of several companies, including:


Orbotech (NASDAQORBK) which develops and manufactures automated optical inspection (AOI) systems for bare and assembled Printed circuit boards and Flat panel displays. The company's systems, imaging and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM and Engineering) technologies enable electronic manufacturers to achieve the increased yields and throughput essential for electronics production.


Orad Hi-Tec Systems Ltd. developer of video and real-time image processing technologies for TV broadcasting, Internet, production studio and sports events.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Lucien Bronicki: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek, retrieved 2009-10-19 
  2. ^ "Beyond Fossil Fuels: Lucien Bronicki on Geothermal Energy", Scientific American - April 2009 
  3. ^ a b Israel's 150-KW Solar Pond, Mother Earth News May/June 1980 
  4. ^ Carl Nielson, Aliakbar Akbarzedeh, John Andrews, Humberto R Becerra L and Peter Golding, 'The History of Solar Pond Science & Technology', Proceedings of the International Solar Energy Society, 2005.
  5. ^ Ormat Signs Joint Venture Agreement for Solar (PV) Power Systems, Reuters, 2009-10-19, retrieved 2009-10-19 
  6. ^ The Long Lake Project Overview (PDF), Nexen Inc., retrieved 2009-10-19 
  7. ^ "OPTI Canada Announces Closing of Acquisition by CNOOC Limited". OPTI Canada. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Leviev Group, Evogene and Orfuel to Establish a Biodiesel Company in Namibia, Africa, retrieved 2009-10-19