MICHIGAN — The largest of Michigan’s four large hydroelectric plants, the $1.2 billion Viking Hydraulic press plant, opened Monday, marking the beginning of the process to drill the first of a planned series of wells.
A pressurized chamber and a hydraulic press operated by two companies will be used to inject oil and gas into a well, where it will be pumped back into the system and pumped again.
The pressurized pressurized water system will be the largest in the U.S.
The pressurization system will also be used for extracting oil and other products.
Viking announced plans to open the pressurized system in 2021.
In addition to producing gas, the plant will produce water and produce electricity, said Gary Smith, CEO of Viking.
This will create about 1,000 jobs, he said.
Viking has been testing the pressurized system in recent months.
It is the first new hydroelectric plant in more than a century that is capable of producing energy, Smith said.
“This is a very unique plant,” Smith said, noting the system has been used to power a gas plant in the past.
When the press-urized water is being pumped, the system creates pressure in the chamber, allowing it to expand and contract.
The system will create a vacuum which will draw oil and gases into the well, Smith added.
The system has the ability to operate for up to five years, Smith told CNN.
Vikings production plant is expected to produce between 200,000 to 300,000 barrels of oil per day.
The pressurized steam is then pumped to the well and injected back into a reservoir, Smith explained.
There is no pressure release on the well at this point, Smith confirmed.
Smith said that the pressure generated by the press could be used in the future to make water, to create electricity, and for the production of products such as kerosene, propane and jet fuel.
It will also provide a boost to the economy, Smith noted.
For the next two years, there will be no drilling on the site, Smith acknowledged.
Valkyrie is owned by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which oversees the plant.
Its goal is to be able to generate energy from the power plant and produce water in the process, Smith and others said.