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HomeGeothermalSlovenian HSE Group makes progress on first Čentiba pilot geothermal power plant

Slovenian HSE Group makes progress on first Čentiba pilot geothermal power plant

Petrol Geo, a company of the Petrol Group responsible for geothermal drilling, has officially started the underground construction at an abandoned Pg-8 well as part of the Čentiba pilot geothermal power plant, the Slovenian HSE Group announced.

The Drava Power Plants Maribo, a company in the Slovenian HSE Group, received a building permit for the construction in May last year.

The pilot geothermal power plant in the southeastern village of Čentiba (Municipality of Lendava) will utilise the geothermal energy potential of the existing dry, non-productive well which is approximately 3,000 metres long, according to a press release from the HSE Group. It is a completely closed system, in which the liquid coolant (ammonia) will not come into contact with the overheated rock. The Pg-8 well is cased (steel lining of the well) and cemented, and is thus completely sealed.

The geothermal power plant at the Pg-8 well will consist of an underground section (i.e. the geothermal gravity heat pipe) and the above-ground section (i.e. cooling system and engine room) the press release added.

“At Petrol Geo, we are proud to be part of the establishment of the first geothermal power plant in Slovenia,” Štefan Hozjan, Managing Director of Petrol Geo said. “As a company, ten years ago we were already part of an important story – the installation of the first heating system with geothermal energy in Slovenia, here in Lendava. And we also continue this story of a green future with this project, which is gaining momentum today. Projects of this kind are important, especially now, when the energy crisis presents us with new challenges that we have not had to deal with until now. And one of the answers to such challenges is also the construction of a geothermal power plant in Slovenia, which will significantly help us to be as energy independent as possible.”

The underground works include the removal of the existing pipes and other installations, for which a special elevator with additional equipment is being used. This will be followed by checking the gas-tightness of the well, installing the geothermal gravity heat pipe and checking the gas-tightness of the space between the pipes in the well.

After the preliminary work has been completed, the activities on the above-ground section of the construction of the pilot plant will begin. This will consist of the construction of three building bases, sewerage, water supply and electrical lines, work on electrical and mechanical installations, and a technical inspection. Other planned steps include modelling and long-term monitoring of the test operation and an assessment of the geothermal potential of abandoned oil and gas wells in Slovenia, and the preparation of guidelines for the development of projects for the construction of innovative geothermal power plants. Start-up tests of the first geothermal power plant in Slovenia are planned for June this year.

“Of course, this type of project will also be an excellent starting point for all further projects involving wells,” Mr Hozjan added. “And we look forward to these developmental steps in our company because the company Petrol Geo is a development-oriented company which is committed to obtaining green energy from renewable energy sources through its operations. Our wish is that, just as the first well symbolically became the trigger for intensive industrial development in the wider Lendava region in 1943, the first geothermal power plant will also become the trigger for more intensive investment in the development and exploitation of geothermal energy in this area.”

“An important milestone”

Should the pilot project provide “favourable results”, the designed concept will be available to be used on other abandoned wells in Slovenia and globally. As highlighted in the press release the project represents “an important milestone” for the development of geothermal energy and the possibility of using abandoned wells around the world.

“On a global scale, it is a market niche in the field of electricity production from renewable sources. The pilot project will be the first application of this principle, which is the fruit of Slovenian knowledge,” commented Damjan Seme, General Manager of the Drava Power Plants Maribor. “The implementation of the project represents a new step on the path of development and transition to a low-carbon society. This project is an added value for the local community, as well as for the whole of Slovenia. I am particularly happy that we have combined the knowledge, experience and interest of Slovenian companies with the support of the line ministries and the Municipality of Lendava.”

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