Drilling to start on 3rd well for geothermal heating project in Vienna, Austria

Geothermal Heating Plant, Ried, Austria (source: Energie Ried)
Alexander Richter 9 Oct 2018

Drilling will start for the third well of the geothermal district heating plant in Ried, Austria with first pumping tests expected in January 2019.

In the next few days, drilling will start for the third well of the largest geothermal project in Austria today.

The expansion of the district heating grid was stopped, due to the full utilisation of the existing geothermal wells. “We still have some major customers in the pipeline, but we could not supply them at the moment, so the third well is absolutely necessary,” says Helmut Binder, Managing Director of Energie Ried, in a recent article in OÖ Nachrichten.

There are ongoing discussions with nearby army barracks, a market currently being built and the hospital. “At the moment, we would not be in a position to service such additional large customers.” This will though change in the foreseeable future. Next week, the necessary equipment and material for the new well to be drilled was delivered, a few days later, the drilling rig is to be brought into position.

The drilling is planned to take 46 days to a depth of 2,700 meters, where hot water is expected. The contract has been awarded to a subsidiary of Strabag. [which we reported last week] “If all goes well, the well should be ready by mid-December,” says Binder.

Actually, drilling of the new well should have already been completed and feed the district heating system since September. Due to the fact that a Europe-wide tender, combined with many sensitive and complex facets, was necessary, it was not possible to live up to the time plan, so Binder.

Drilling will take place 7 meters next to a well, at which a massive mistake was made. There already was a third well, which was drilled without problem to a depth of 550 meters. At this depth, a space between the inserted pipes and the rock is poured out from the bottom to the top with concrete prior to further drilling.

During that process, a screwed connection came loose between pipes, with concrete flowing in – essentially closing up the well unwillingly, so experts. The drilling company went into administration and now drilling needs to start anew.

The necessary infrastructure is in place, from the connecting pipes to the boiler house. Once the well is completed, the pump will have to be put in place but then things are ready to go.

Currently hot water is being derived from a well in Mehrnbach, while the second well serves as a re-injection well. In January a pump test will have to be carried out due to regulatory reasons, which will provide details on yield, temperature and pressure impact to the nearby wells.

Source: OÖ Nachrichten