iGas joins with Engie to revive flagship Stoke-on Trent geothermal project

iGas is looking at a number of strategic geothermal development locations including Newcastle, Crewe, and Southampton and is working at converting these into a development pipeline of projects, it has reported.

The company completed acquisition of geothermal developer, GTE during 2020, described as a “major strategic milestone” and a “ logical step given the development and operational synergies” with its onshore oil and gas business.It said,” this is a very similar process in terms of geological interpretation, drilling, completion and facility design; we are just looking for a different resource, a permeable heat reservoir.”

However, the pandemic has meant that work has halted on the heat network to be connected to GTE’s principal project, a 14MW deep geothermal project in Etruria Valley, Stoke-on-Trent, and the thermal purchase agreement, which should see it supply heat to the city of Stoke-on-Trent ciy council on a long-term ‘take or pay’ contract, has not been completed.  IGas said that it has begun discussions with the council and Engie to deliver the project, saying “This structure would take all financial risk away from the council and allow the project to proceed at a faster pace.” 

It added that discussions with government regarding future financial support for renewable heat from geothermal are “both ongoing and positive”.

Chief executive Stephen Bowler described 2020 as a “pivotal year” that saw IGas reposition “to deliver a variety of energy sources to the UK”. As well as acquiring GTE   it partnered with BayoTech which uses small steam methane reformers  to produce hydrogen and offers them through rentals, leases, sales and gas as a service. IGas said it would use it to produce hydrogen from its gas producing assets and from stranded gas assets.

It has  identified two existing sites in the Southeast and it expects to submit planning applications in Q3 2021. It believes it will start producing hydrogen in 2022.