Asia’s first company in the commercialization of EGS geothermal power generation


[INQ. NO. 1505M32]

Nexgeo is medium-sized but is swiftly growing into one of the global leading energy companies by strategically focusing on the sector of EGS geothermal power generation despite its relatively short energy business history over global rivals in advanced nations, based on the strong background on its own differentiated technologies and innovative way of approach for the field. The following is a script after the interview with the company’s CEO Yoon Woonsang. It will give an insight and challenge for global energy companies in their respective energy businesses.

Nexgeo-Inc_1 in August 2001 for the business of utilizing geotechnology and IT, Nexgeoo became interested in geothermal resources as a concept of renewable energy while focusing on its value in terms of stability in quality, economy, and environmentalfriendliness in 2007.

Nexgeo-Inc_2 At present, Nexgeo is working to commercialize the first EGS geothermal development in Asia. Nexgeo is carrying out a joint R&D project for the development of commercialization technology of MW-Class geothermal power generation, supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and managed by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology and Planning (KETEP).

For the project, Nexgeo is jointly working with two domestic institutes (Korea Institute of Geological Resources, Korea Institute of Construction Technology), two companies (POSCO, ENO geo- technology), and Seoul National University. Nexgeo secured a new drilling technology effective deep underground (more than 4km) for reaching the targeted degree of temperature, obtained a technology of hydraulic stimulation demonstration for the creation of the layer of artificial geothermal storage by extending a crack in rocks. It designed and manufactured MW-Class geothermal power generation plant and finished trial driving recently.

Furthermore, it established a plan for disseminating the technologies of geothermal power generation and a scheme for the extended business for geothermal power generation. In a particular, Nexgeo has recorded the completion of the digging operation to a depth of 4,127m for the first time in Korea in October 17, 2013.

Nexgeo is becoming an energy-specialized company with advanced technology

Nexgeo has been carrying out a joint R&D project (strictly speaking R&D&B according to the view of the company) for the development of commercialization technology of MW-Class geothermal power-generation from December to now (scheduled to be finished by June 2016). Through this project, Nexgeo is reshaping into an energy-specialized company equipped with advanced technology that helps the commercialization of the EGS (Enhanced Geothermal System) in non-volcanic regions for the first time in Asia. If the company successfully completed this project, it will be the only company armed with the capacity to supply geothermal power generation plant to the non-volcanic region of Korea. Accordingly, the company expects to exert its leadership in the spread of geothermal power-generation plants to the domestic market in the near future.

Nexgeo-Inc_3 The drilling technology so deep underground has so far been developed mainly overseas through the development of gas and oil. So, the infrastructure for the technology was not installed in non-oil-producing nations like Korea. Nexgeo, for this project, is carrying out drilling construction together with professional engineers from overseas in Pohang. Through operating a drilling machine (Drilling Rig ZJ50/3150) for the development of oil wells for the first time in the domestic ground drilling history while successfully performing the deep depths of drilling (more than 4,000m). Through this, it has introduced advanced technologies from leading enterprises overseas and applied them at the actual construction site. Thus, it is obtaining the so-called “Korean-style” of drilling t echnologies o f deep depths suitable for Korea’s geological features.

Nexgeo-Inc_4 Once this project is successfully completed and the company’s EGS geothermal power-generation technology thus systematized, this technology is expected to be one of the most stable and competitive renewable energy sources required by non-volcanic regions across the world, although now this company is in the stage of technology development in Korea, based on the fact that the global size of the EGS geothermal power-generation business related to the technologies of the reduction of greenhouse gases is in a swift upward trend of growth.

“When initiating such kinds of very challenging R&D projects, a lot of concerns are raised over the business feasibility among industrial circles. Actually, difficult and unpredictable issues frequently occur. However, we have been overcoming these challenges in order to utilize this experience of solving difficulties and problems as a productive course that elevates the level of our knowledge and technology, said Lee Jun-hee, the representative director of the company. But, at the same time, we can’t deny the fact that there are challenges an individual company can’t solve with only the technologies it holds,” the company’s CEO Yoon Woonsang, stressed. | Blog Magazine of korean-machinery, brands and Goods

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