A mobile rig developed in the Czech Republic digs geothermal wells in the Netherlands
Sviadnov, November 28, 2023 – The work of Czech technicians and engineers from Huisman Czech Republic, with their drilling rig LOC 400, is bearing fruit in Delft, the Netherlands. The local geothermal project will provide heating for buildings at the local university and thousands of households in the city.
The drilling rig LOC 400, a pioneering technology for deepening geothermal wells, was entirely designed and manufactured at the Huisman Czech Republic facility in Sviadnov. “Thanks to its small footprint, container design, and excellent mobility, it is an ideal tool for drilling in densely populated urban areas,” said Karel Pavlíček, Managing Director of Huisman Czech Republic.
The geothermal project in Delft is one of the largest international research facilities on geothermal energy in an urban environment. The core of the project is a natural reservoir at a depth of approximately 2,500 meters. Two wells are being drilled for the hot water source – production and injection wells. Drilling is the current phase of the project, with the first “hot” water expected in mid-2024.
The Delft city project will heat buildings on the campus of the local Technical University and later the surrounding neighborhoods and student residences. In total, the reliable and accessible energy source can provide heat for up to 10,000 homes in the city. The completed geothermal system can generate heat for at least 30 years.
A significant advantage of the Czech LOC 400 equipment is its easy handling and transportation. The rig can be disassembled into 22 units equivalent to standard containers, transported to the drilling site, and put into operation within 48 hours. This modular design is suitable for use on land, as well as on platforms in the sea and in environmentally sensitive areas.
The Czech drilling rig LOC 400 can drill up to a depth of 6,000 meters, weighs approximately 600 tons, and its tower is 38 meters high. The equipment also features fully automated pipe handling, a key advantage over many rigs of the same type. “The driller can simply sit in the cabin and watch as the LOC automatically lifts drilling rods out of the well or inserts them back into the well. This automation significantly simplifies the entire process,” adds Martin Vojtek, Assembly Manager at Huisman Czech Republic.
Huisman Czech Republic’s LOC 400 drilling rigs have previously assisted with geothermal drilling in Austria, the construction of a geothermal power plant in Germany, and in French-Norwegian collaboration for testing a revolutionary rock sampling system. A unique drilling rig simulator, also developed by Czech experts at Huisman, is used for training drillers.