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Icelandic engineering at work on new Theistareykir geothermal power plant in Iceland

Theistareykir geothermal project; September 2016 (source: screenshot from TV2 video)
Alexander Richter 20 Nov 2017

With turbines from Japan and cooling towers from Germany, Icelandic engineering firms Mannvit and Verkís played an important role in the development of the plant.

Last week, Icelandic national power company Landsvirkjun commissioned the first 45 MW unit of its new Theistareykir geothermal power plant, as we reported.

This is the company’s third geothermal power plant and the first real own development of a geothermal power plant for about 40 years.

Icelandic engineering groups Mannvit and Verkís were heavily involved in the project over a period of nearly 10 years, right from the beginning. Both companies worked in a partnership on the design of the power stations and preparation of tender documents for up to 90 MW of power generation capacity.

Technical assistance will also be provided during construction and testing. Mannvit prepared project design reports, designed boreholes, oversaw technical supervision of the drilling of the current boreholes and evaluated the size of the geothermal area. Mannvit also carried out project design for high voltage lines and substations, as well as evaluating the environmental impact (EIA) and performing a joint EIA of high voltage lines and power plants in the area.

Five exploration wells were drilled in 2002 and 2003. The first production well drilled in 2002 was promising and yielded 6 MWe. In 2016 and 2017, 10 production wells were drilled, including one in the Krafla area, making the total number of wells at the Theistareykir 18, providing enough steam for the first 90 MW phase. In fact, providing over 100 MW.

Construction on the plant started in April 2015 and several contractors and suppliers were involved. One can particularly  name LNS Saga (now called Munck) which was the main contractor with the set up of the power plant infrastructure, including buildings and the steam gathering system, as well as Fuji Electric that delivered the turbines and Balcke Duerr that delivered the cooling towers.

Landsvirkjun is owned by the Icelandic state and the country’s largest electricity generator, processing 75% of all electricity used in Iceland from hydroelectric power, wind and geothermal energy. Landsvirkjun operates 17 power stations in Iceland.

Source: Mannvit, Verkís