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Fonroche to proceed with second well on geothermal site near Strasbourg

Drilling rig at Kirchweidach, Bavaria, Germany (source: Herrenknecht)
Alexander Richter 22 May 2018

French geothermal developer Fonroche reports successful results of tests on a first well drilled for a geothermal power and heating project near Strasbourg, France, planning now the start of drilling of the second well for the project.

Reported last week in France, development company Fonroche will proceed to drill the second well of its future deep geothermal power plant near the site of the former refining Petroplus refinery near Strasbourg, France.

Begun last June, the drilling of the first well for the future geothermal power plant in Fonroche has yielded promising results. ” The tests and analyzes carried out during this phase confirm the expected potential for energy production, ” says the company, which has been working on this renewable energy field since 2011.

No hydraulic fracturing

At a depth of some 4,600 meters, the first drilling of Fonroche Géothermie brought to light a water temperature exceeding 200 centigrades, against 185 centigrades expected, and a flow more than satisfactory of 300 cubic meters/ hour . Based on these results, the manufacturer invested EUR 15 million ($17.6m) in a “zero noise hydraulic” drilling rig of German TBM Herrenknecht. From the end of May, the drilling of the second well should start according to the chosen principle of geothermal doublet, which allows, without having recourse to hydraulic fracturing, to reintroduce the hot water drawn after having converted the calories into energy.

A total of EUR 80 million ($94m) is invested by Fonroche in this transaction: EUR 10 million ($11.8m) for exploration, EUR 30 million ($35.3m) for the drilling of two wells and EUR 40 million ($47m) for the construction of the plant.

Greenhouses in sight

The production of electricity and the connection to the electricity grid for the distribution of electricity produced are scheduled for the end of 2019. Fonroche foresees for this first electricity-heat cogeneration unit an 8 MW power generation capacity, sufficient for power supply of 9,000 homes. Not to mention the production of 40 MW thermal equivalent to the heat supply of 26,000 homes or 70 hectares of agricultural greenhouses.

The energy produced here will fuel the future neighboring Rhine EcoParc and the companies that will settle there in the coming months. The Strasbourg Eurometropolis has also called for the creation of agricultural greenhouses on one hectare, in partnership with interested farmers.

Source: Les Echos