Nickel Asia unit acquiring Biliran geothermal project
EMERGING Power Inc. (EPI), which is majority owned by listed miner Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), is set to get control of the Biliran geothermal project in Eastern Visayas region.
An agreement between EPI and Orka Energy Holding Ehf of Iceland stated that EPI would eventually get 60 percent ownership of the project vehicle Biliran Geothermal Inc. (BGI).
The acquisition, for which the parties signed an agreement on Aug. 24, 2015, is subject to regulatory approvals. The companies had not responded to requests for further details, such as the value and terms of the acquisition, as of press time.
BGI has a 25-year geothermal renewable energy contract covering an area of 260 square kilometers in the island-province of Biliran, which used to be a sub-province of Leyte.
The firm has successfully completed drilling eight wells in the southern portion of the concession area, which is estimated to supply 100-megawatts (MW) of power to the grid. Initial research showed that another 170 MW could be developed in the northern part of the concession area.
“We are quickly expanding our renewable energy portfolio. Orka’s expertise will help us in our mission to supply clean energy and provide plenty of job opportunities for the people of Biliran,” said EPI chair Antonio Martin Zamora said in a statement.
Orka Energy is owned by the Singapore-based Chandler Corp., a private investment group that invests globally across a range of industries, including energy, financial services, consumer and healthcare.
The core team of Orka Energy has developed 1,500 MW of geothermal power into operation in the last 30 years.
“Orka Energy and EPI share the same vision: harnessing geothermal energy to meet Asia’s demand for cleaner, sustainable energy. We look forward to working with EPI on the Biliran Project to create long-term value for all stakeholders, and to responsibly and sustainably power homes, communities, and businesses across the Philippines,” said Orka CEO Eirikur Bragason.
NAC is one of the country’s biggest mining firms.
In a recent disclosure, NAC said it would guarantee the loan facility of EPI for up to P3 billion over a three-year period to finance EPI’s renewable energy projects.
EPI is also putting up a 40-MW geothermal power company in Oriental Mindoro, a 100-MW solar and wind project in Subic, a 30-MW hybrid (solar and bunker fuel-fired) project in Palawan, a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur and a 2.5-MW biogas project in Quezon Province.
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