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Drilling for geothermal project to proceed on the Azores, Portugal

Odinn drilling rig by Iceland Drilling on location in Iceland (source: Iceland Drilling)
Alexander Richter 15 Feb 2020

Iceland Drilling Company has secured a drilling contract valued at around EUR 18.6 million to drill 9 wells for expansion of geothermal capacity on the Azores, Portugal.

As reported by local news in Iceland, Iceland Geothermal Drilling Company has secured a drilling contract valued at ISK 2.6 billion (around EUR 18.6 million) for EDA on the Azores Island, Portugal.

The company is tasked to drill nine wells for extension of current geothermal operations, as we reported last year, for EDA Renováveis, S.A. regional electric utility of EDA on the Azores an island in the North Atlantic.

The campaign is designed to drill up to 9 geothermal wells: 3 production wells to saturate the power capacity installed at Ribeira Grande power plant (13 MW), 2 geothermal production wells to expand the power capacity of Pico Vermelho power plant to 15 MW and 3 geothermal production wells to saturate the actual power capacity installed in Pico Alto power plant and accommodate a possible expansion.

For the Icelandic drilling company, the domestic market in Iceland continues to be challenging and drilling work will be minimal for the next two years Therefore, Iceland Drilling is seeking increasingly projects internationally.

The company has drilled for EDA before. In the article in Icelandic media, the CEO of the company also touches upon the current market climate for the company in Iceland.

“The negative debate in Iceland regarding further energy production is a concern. If this debate results in no future construction in the future, it will mean that the expertise we have built up over the past few decades will gradually disappear, “says Sigurdur Sigurdsson, CEO of Jardboranir (Iceland Drilling Company).

The new project in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic, is about drilling on the islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira. Iceland Drilling’s contract is with Portuguese energy company EDA Renováveis.

Sigurdur says Jardboranir has won the project in competition with two other European drilling companies in the European Economic Area. The drilling compaign targets nine wells, which range from 1,000 to 2,300 meters deep. The work should take one to one and a half years.

“This agreement is important for the company, as drilling in Iceland will be a minimum for the next two years. As things stand now in our important home market, Jardboranir will try to pick up further projects abroad, while operations in Iceland will be minimal, ”says Sigurdur.

According to Sigurdur, it is planned to move the drilling rig Odin in the spring days from the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, where the company is currently completing three geothermal wells.

“Drilling work is expected to begin on the Azores this summer, first on the island of Sao Miguel, where there are two power plants utilizing the geothermal wells drilled by the company about eight to fifteen years ago,” he says.

Sigurdur says that over the last fifteen years, the company has done a great job in acquiring projects abroad and drilling geothermal wells in ten countries around the world.

“The company is respected in the international market for its expertise it has acquired in Iceland and abroad. Interest in utilization of geothermal energy for energy generation and central heating is growing in many parts of the world, where it is environmentally friendly and renewable energy, ”says the CEO of the company.

Source: Frettabladid