First Icelandic geothermal power plant abroad online

Alexander Richter 29 Mar 2009

The first geothermal power plant built by an Icelandic company abroad is now in full operation. The plant is a 9.3 MW binary plant at Berlin in El Salvador.

Based on local newspaper, Morgunbladid, the first geothermal power plant built by an Icelandic company abroad is now in full operation. The plant in question is a 9.3 MW low-heat plant that was planned and built by the Icelandic geothermal company Enex on behalf of LaGeo in El Salvador.

Enex (now majority owned by Geysir Green Energy) announced that the plant now has 9.3 MW up and running, with all running and stress tests have been finished and is now under 1-year guarantee time given by the company. The contract with LaGeo was for a total of about US$13 million (around ISK 1.6 billion).

The construction contract with geothermal company LaGeo was a complete contract, that included design, service and equipment procurement, project and construction management done by Enex. Enex employed the local engineering firm Sertiproi in El Salvador, as well as the Icelandic firms Mannvit (formerly VGK), Rafteigningu and Verkís (formerly Fjarhitun) for consulting and design work on various parts of the project. Enex itself was in charge of all tests, the start-up and training of staff at LaGeo.

The plant is a low-heat geothermal power plant, that utilizes lower heat reservoirs for the generation of electricity. The plant is a binary plant, which utilizes a fluid boiling at lower temperatures (here an isopentan) in a closed circle system. With a temperature of 160 centigrades, a heat exchanger creates steam which itself turns a turbine to generate electricity.

The power plant is located on the Berlin geothermal field in El Salvador, where already two power plants are with an installed capacity of 100 MW are in operation today. The binary system installed utilizes the waste water from those plants before it is reinjected again. The process has been built upon the experience of the Icelandic power plant Svartsengi of HS Orku (formerly Hitaveita Sudurnesja, in proximity to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland).

Source: Icelandic Morgunbladid