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Bavarian Molasse / Northern German basin, Germany

Herrenknecht Vertical deep drilling rigs have a great track record in geothermal energy. Customers’ drilling crews have produced more than 56,000 meters of wells for geothermal energy projects in Germany with TI-350 Box-on-Box type rigs.


The innovative technology in these rigs prioritizes high safety and low noise.

Record breaking

In a geothermal energy project in Kirchweidach, Bavaria, in 2011, the drilling crew celebrated drilling 5,133 meters using a TI-350 Box-on-box “InnovaRig” and exceeding 5,000 meters for the first time. Around two years later this record was broken by the same rig in a geothermal project in nearby Traunreut.

Herrenknecht Vertical equipped the rig with a skidding system to shift it from the first well to the second well without needing disassembly and assembly. The second drilling operation started only two days after the first one was completed.

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Super quiet

To ensure efficient use of district heating as for example in Kirchweidach, transport distances must be as short as possible. This means that both drilling location and power plant must typically be near built-up areas, which poses special demands on the drilling rig and in particular regarding space and noise. To keep noise down, our rigs have a comprehensive integrated noise protection concept.

At a height of 50 meters, a rig’s top drive is usually quite noisy. However, due to its hydraulic drive, the Herrenknecht Vertical top drive is very quiet. Similarly, relatively noisy manual pipe handling at the mast in conventional rigs, is avoided by using the mechanized pipe handler. Our hydraulic rigs are therefore considered to be the quietest rig type on the market.

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Safety first

The rigs‘ automation (hands-off technology) and implementation of pipe handler, iron roughneck, cylinder hoisting system and top drive set new standards in deep geothermal drilling projects.

The combination of a horizontal pipe rack with boxes and gantry crane, and the horizontal-to-vertical pipe handler, enables the safe transportation and handling of pipes and keeps staff away from hazardous areas. All major handling and make-up or break-out procedures are remote-controlled from the driller’s cabin.

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The Munich vision

The Bavarian capital of Munich is transitioning to district heating that uses mainly geothermal energy.

In 2015-16, at the new heating plant at Freiham, Herrenknecht Vertical’s TI-350 Box-on-Box rig drilled two wells of 3,132 meters and 3,113 meters, from which 90° Celsius hot water is pumped to the surface. Further geothermal projects at Mauerstetten, Dürrnhaar and Kirchstockach also used our high tech, deep drilling rigs. These distinguished themselves by their smooth and quiet operations, high availability and excellent safety.

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Geothermal research well

A single hole concept for generating geothermal energy was first used at the GeneSys project in Hannover. In contrast to the usual doublet well concept, the hot water is extracted and the cooled water is returned in the same well, through an inner tube and outer annulus at different depths. Drilling costs are halved.

The Hannover drilling operations aimed to reach the necessary drilling depth of 3,902 meters quickly, and to provide detailed information about the sediment formations typical of the North German Basin. The TI-350 Box-on-Box type rig, “InnovaRig”, designed for both research and industrial drilling, has special measurement and analysis equipment installed and cores can be extracted to determine sediment structure.

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Download our project data sheet:

Geothermal in Germany



Bavarian Molasse Basin / North German Basin, Germany


GFZ Potsdam / H. Angers & Söhne

Rig type:

TI-350 Box-on-Box


deep geothermal energy

Drilling depths:

to 5,500 meters (18,050 ft)

Well diameter:

28’’ to 8 1/2’’