Geothermal heating expansion in Ried, Austria with drilling hiccup

Ried im Innkreis, Austria (source:
Alexander Richter 20 Sep 2017

Expanding its geothermal heating capacity, the municipality of Ried in Austria is facing some hiccup with some technical challenge on a well being drilled.

The largest geothermal district heating project in the city of Ried and its neighbouring municipality of Mehrnbach is facing such large demand that it has to tap into gas to cover the heating demand, and this despite the district heating system not even finalised yet.

In order to cover the increasing demand, a third well was to be drilled but there have been some challenges.

While drilling to a depth of 550 meters went without problem, there has been an incident with cementing essentially blocking the well. This requires some additional costs, that the drilling contractor cannot cover and actually resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy protection.

The cost to fix the problem is estimated to be between EUR 800k and 1 milliion ($955,000 and $1.2 million). The operator of the geothermal project, Energie Ried does not feel responsible and had offered some intermediary financing. So currently drilling stands still and one will have to see how things will resolve.