Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Finland: Drilling Starts for 40 MWth Espoo Geothermal District Heating Project

St1 begins the drilling of geothermal deep-rock wells in Otaniemi, Espoo (News Release)

Energy company St1’s geothermal heat production project is moving on to the next phase in Espoo. A giant drilling rig with auxiliary systems have been assembled in the area of a Fortum heat plant in Otaniemi, and the drilling of deep wells for Finland's first geothermal pilot plant will begin in the next few days.

In February, St1 Deep Heat Oy made an investment decision to construct a geothermal heat pilot plant in Otaniemi. The exploration drillings performed in the summer of 2015 proved that the area is promising for heat production based on natural bedrock heat.

The drilling of two seven-kilometre deep production holes will begin in the next few days, and the entire multi-stage process will take approximately six months. After the first hole has been completed, a stimulation phase will be initiated to define the precise location of the second hole in order to create an optimal flow of water between the two holes. These geothermal holes and the natural cracks in the bedrock will function as underground heat exchanges, which will be connected to the overground heat plant systems via a pipework. Just below ground level, the drill holes will be over 100 centimeters in diameter and in their deepest position a little over 20 centimeters. During the construction stage, the project will employ up to 50 people, most of whom come from Finnish companies.

The heat pilot plant is estimated to be completed in 2017. It is estimated to produce up to 40 megawatts of geothermal heat, which Fortum will buy to cover up to 10 per cent of the district heating demand in the Espoo area.

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