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Slovakia wants to tap into geothermal energy

SLOVAKIA wants to harness its geothermal energy resources to produce electricity, Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek said.

He made the comments to representatives of Icelandic geothermal energy companies who visited Slovakia in early October, the TASR newswire wrote. The companies have expressed an interest in investing in eastern Slovakia.

Icelandic company Enex has been active in this segment in Slovakia for two years. Its aim is to use geothermal energy for heating.

Jahnátek said he wants to see a geothermal power plant project accomplished during his term in office.

Slovakia is rich in geothermal water resources, which can be found at a depth of 200 to 5,000 metres below the earth at temperatures between 15 and 240 Celsius, the Pravda daily wrote earlier this year.

The Slovak Environment Agency estimates that Slovakia only uses 2.3 percent of its available geothermal energy.

Some Slovak towns, for example Galanta, already use geothermal energy for heating. Hot water is also used in aquaparks and pools, for heating as well as for swimming.

A new geothermal experiment was launched near the town of Lipany, in Prešov Region, earlier this year. Experts deepened an old gas bore-hole up to 3,400 metres. The result took them aback: 90-degree-Celsius water started to jet from it to a height of 300 metres.

Lipany Mayor Eduard Vokál wants to use the hot water for tourism, energy and agriculture.

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