German and Icelandic geothermal clusters meet in Iceland

Visit of GeoEnergy Celle to Iceland Geothermal Cluster, here at the site of IDDP 2 (source: Iceland Geothermal)

A closer cooperation between the German geothermal cluster GeoEnergy Celle and the Iceland Geothermal cluster was discussed at a recent visit of a German delegation to Iceland.

The worldwide presence of Icelandic geothermal experts and the technical expertise from the German geothermal cluster “GeoEnergy Celle” ( GEC ) with decades of experience  from oil and gas drilling  made it obvious that there is a big alignment of interest between both clusters for a cooperation.

At a recent visit to the Iceland Geothermal Cluster, a delegation from Celle, led by cluster chairman Thor Noevig and enforced by GEC cluster members Maurice Walter, Hartmann Valves and Achim Fischer-Erdsiek, NW Assekuranz proceeded through a perfectly scheduled agenda of Cluster Manager Vidar Helgason including all aspects for a successful cooperation.

What the Icelandic Geothermal Industry is all about was presented and discussed at headquarters of Landsvirkjun the national energy company. Landsvirkjun introduced its new 100MWe Geothermal Power Station, Theistareykir, that is under construction. Special focus was given to the drilling activities accosted with the construction of the new plant. Landsvirkjun is a major supplier of electricity and thermal energy for heating purposes. 90% of primary energy in Iceland comes from renewable energy sources (hydro and geothermal).

The Geothermal Research Group (GEORG), partner cluster to Iceland Geothermal,  also held a presentation on its activities, and its role in the Geothermal ERAnet, and other EU geothermal initiatives. Finally a new research project called the Krafla Magma Testbed was presented, but its aim is to bring to gather volcanology, geothermal and oil and gas technology with the aim of developing new technologies, equipment and models. Thor Noevig introduced GeoEnergy Celle and the support Celle can provide as one of the main service centres for the oil and gas as well as the geothermal industry in Europe. The German cluster has 57 members with a large scope of work for drilling wells – roughly 4.000 employees are working in this industry around Celle.

There was a strong focus put on developing standards for geothermal projects based on the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA) program supported by IRENA. The Icelandic proposal to GGA, supported by BBA legal, is looking into the legal frameworks worldwide. GeoEnergy Celle will add in technical standards, education and training as well as quality improvements for geothermal drilling projects in order to improve the economics, quality and performance.

Possibilities for a cooperation between the Icelandic Universities and the German University of Clausthal-Zellerfeld were discussed. Interesting opportunities such as exchange programs for students could be developed and theoretical research on Iceland may be practically tested on the German Drilling Simulator and the casing testing facilities.

One highlight was visiting the drilling site of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project 2 (IDDP-2) on the peninsula of Reykjanes. As a follow-up of the IDDP-1 Project, the well is planned to exploit supercritical zones with temperatures of 400 – 500 °C.  During the visit a core from a depth of

3.600 m was retrieved.   At the site Achim Fischer-Erdsiek from NW Assekuranz, explained the risk management and insurance concept they developed together with the local risk manager Sveinn Segatta for the Bentec EuroRig 350 drilling rig of Iceland Drilling.

Bilateral meetings with Icelandic service companies rounded-up the first meeting between the clusters. Technical discussions of Maurice Walter revealed a certain potential for customised valves and wellhead equipment for the Icelandic market.

“After some contacts via e-mail and telephone between the clusters it was now the right time to meet personally and discuss specific issues for a future cooperation ” … Thor Noevig stated after the 2-day intensive discussions.