Warmth from below

Durham engineering firm OGI Groundwater Specialists has created 13 new jobs and moved into premises warmed by innovative ground source heating.

As well as groundwater solutions, OGI also provides geothermal heating systems, which work by pumping cool liquid into underground pipes where it is warmed by heat that occurs naturally in the ground. This warmed liquid then returns to the surface where a pump extracts the heat into the building and returns cold liquid back down into the underground pipes.

OGI has secured a £100,000 Selective Finance for Investment grant from RDA One NorthEast towards the £625,300 project to expand into their new purpose built premises and create the new job positions. The 13 new roles will include specialist engineering positions, project administrators, a software engineer and technical assistants.

According to OGI, geothermal heating has a reduced impact on the environment and is more economical to run than most fossil fuel heating. It is particularly suitable for organisations that require heating for a substantial length of time, for instance 24-hour supermarkets, prisons, hospitals and care homes.

OGI can also reverse this heating process into a cooling system, and has provided geothermal cooling for the visitor centre and pavilion at AlnwickGardens.

Suzanne Pickering, business manager at OGI, said: ‘Geothermal heating is used throughout Scandinavia but is quite a new concept in the UK. By using it on our own premises we are able to fully demonstrate the system and its workings to potential clients.’