Biliran Geothermal Inc., an upstart joint venture between local firm Filtech Energy Drilling Corp. and Envent Holding Philippines Inc., a group of Icelandic companies, has committed to invest $15 million to develop a geothermal project in the Eastern Visayas region, a company official said.
FEDCO managing director Zosimo Sarmiento said the company and its partners from Iceland will pursue the construction of a geothermal plant in the area covering 22,394 hectares over a seven-year period.
The company estimated the capacity of the Biliran prospect at around 100 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy.
FEDCO’s partner Envent is a renewable energy firm dedicated to the exploration and development of geothermal sources in the Philippines. It is currently working on several geothermal projects and is committed to contributing to the Philippine government´s target of 3,131 MW of geothermal power capacity by 2013.
Envent’s key shareholders are Reykjavik Energy Invest and Geysir Green Energy, both globally leading development companies in the renewable energy sector with specific focus on geothermal energy.
“Geothermal development and plant operation is usually done by owner. To have another partner usually adds another layer that will mark up the cost of electricity,” Sarmiento said.
However, he said Envent is not looking at bidding for the government’s geothermal power assets that will be auctioned in the next few months as there are “some issues that are disadvantageous to the bidders.”
Reykjavik and Geysir previously owned a combined 40 percent stake in Red Vulcan Holdings Inc., which won the bidding for the majority control of PNOC-Energy Development Corp. They eventually decided to unload their stake and sold it back to First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group. – Donnabelle L. Gatdula/Philstar