The initial phase of the project will see specialists in geothermal drilling, Daldrup & Söhne, work alongside RWE Innogy to develop its existing deep geothermal drilling areas. Plans are also in place for the companies to participate with other geothermal and development companies to extend their work in Germany and the rest of Europe.
The geothermal facilities that will be developed by the two partners are to be operated by independent project companies. The joint venture remains subject to approval by the German antitrust authority, Bundeskartellamt.
Prof Fritz Vahrenholt, chairman of the board of directors at RWE Innogy, said: ‘The use of geothermal heat for the production of electric power and heat has great potential, not just in Germany, but also in southern and south eastern Europe. This joint venture enables us to ensure the systematic development of a relatively young form of energy in our latitudes and to use this energy on a major technical scale.’
Josef Daldrup, founder and chief executive of Daldrup & Söhne, said: ‘This joint venture is an important milestone in the development of the geothermal activities of Daldrup & Söhne. The joint venture also enables us to get involved in the operation of geothermal power stations and in the resulting creation of further revenue with long-term stability. This partnership with RWE Innogy is an excellent additional pillar for our continued business development, particularly against the background of the general economic situation.’
RWE Innogy currently holds permits for two deep geothermal projects in the Swabian rural district of Oberallgäu in south west Germany. An investigation into the geothermal potential of the area will be carried out over the next three years. Following this process, RWE Innogy and Daldrup & Söhne hope to drill up to 4,000m (13,000ft) into the ground in order to meet the demand for baseload electricity.