Atlas Copco wins German geothermal power plant order

Stockholm, Sweden, October 7, 2008: Atlas Copco has received an order to supply an expansion turbine for a geothermal power plant in Germany. The contract follows a similar deal in the United States last year, highlighting the continued growth of the environment-friendly geothermal energy market.

Atlas Copco’s Gas and Process division has also agreed to cooperate further with the customer, Exorka International Limited of Iceland. The aim is to develop and advance the process technology used at the German plant, which differs in some respects from the U.S. geothermal project. The technology makes possible a wider use of geothermal power generation than in the past.

“This is a breakthrough order for us as it shows we have the technological capabilities to supply customers in all kinds of geothermal energy projects,” says Ronnie Leten, Business Area President, Atlas Copco Compressor Technique. “There are numerous other projects planned in the future, and we continue to see great potential in this market.”

Exorka, which has its head office in Munich, is building a 5.5 megawatt power plant system in Mauerstetten, southern Germany. The plant will tap the country’s most abundant geothermal resource, the so-called Molasse Basin, located between four and five kilometers beneath the earth’s surface. Geothermal energy is obtained from natural hot water or steam basins, making it a significant source of renewable energy.

The process technology used at Mauerstetten is known as the Kalina Cycle. While not yet in widespread commercial use, this technology can be more efficient than conventional methods, especially when using lower-temperature heat sources for electricity production. A large part of the world’s undeveloped geothermal resources show the low temperature range that is suitable for use of the Kalina Cycle.

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