Contact Energy will build a $623m Te Mihli geothermal project for a consortium of McConnell Dowell Constructors, SNC-Lavalin Constructors, and PB New Zealand.

Contact will be responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the 159MW plant near the 52-year-old Wairakei geothermal power station, northwest of Taupo.

Two turbines for the plant will be supplied by Toshiba International and the project will be funded through a combination of debt and equity.

Once the geothermal plant is completed, the Wairakei plant will be decommissioned.