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Avinor

Why is an airport drilling Norway’s deepest borehole?

Heat from Norway’s deepest ever geothermal borehole will be put to good use at Oslo Gardermoen.

Norway’s deepest geothermal borehole is now under construction at Oslo Gardermoen Airport. The natural heat generated from it will be used to heat the engine test site in winter.

Airport operator Avinor is managing the energy project, called Rock Energy, in partnership with the company Båsum Boring through its joint venture Norwegian Energy Drilling.

The ground-breaking – literally – Norwegian technology “allows us to drill the deepest land-based geothermal borehole in Norway ever,” enthuses Henning Bråtebæk, director of airside operations. “It will enable us to use the heat in the ground to heat buildings or other major installations.”

In a controlled manner, the idea is to send cold water deep underground, where it is heated and then returned to the surface.

This can then be used for heating buildings, or in the case of this project, to heat the engine test site and keep it clear of snow.

Never before has a Norwegian land-based geothermal borehole been drilled so deep, Avinor says.

Earth’s core
Heat from the Earth’s interior can provide huge amounts of energy. Geothermal boreholes can provide a hundred times as much energy as hydropower, and it is this technology that Avinor is now exploiting at Oslo Airport.

“We’ve drilled to a depth of 1,500 metres for both boreholes, and when the project is completed they should be capable of heating the entire area of the engine test site. This has never been achieved before in Norway,” says Thor Erik Musæus, the project’s general manager, who adds that the extracted energy could also be used to heat large buildings.

“The heat extracted from one of these boreholes corresponds to the effect of around one hundred radiators.”

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