(PIA)

NAVAL, Biliran – June 12, 2013 marks a momentous double celebration for the Province of Biliran. Aside from the Philippine Independence Day celebration, a new and a promising phase of the geothermal project was inked by and between Biliran Geothermal, Inc. (BGI) and Icelandic Drilling Company (IDC).

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Said signing ceremony was held at the heart of the business district of the business capital of the Philippines, in Makati City at the Paranaque AB, of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Representing Biliran Geothermal, Inc. is its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Eirikur Bragason, also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Orka Energy Philippines. Signing in behalf of Icelandic Drilling Company (IDC) is Baldvin Thorsteinsson, its IDC Chief Executive Officer.

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The Biliran Geothermal Inc. (BGI), which is a joint venture of Filtech Energy Drilling Corporation (FEDCO), and Orka Energy Philippines, was in perfect attendance during the drilling contract signing. Composing its Filipino Officers are the pioneers in the field of geothermal power generation in the Philippines. Its President and Chief Executive Officer is Zosimo F. Sarmiento, who has gained experience for over 30 years of geothermal reservoir engineering and drilling. Completing the board were Mr. Nazario C. Vazquez, considered one of the “fathers” of the Philippines geothermal energy industry, Mr. Roberto R. Abanes, also has vast experience in the operations of the various drilling rigs for geothermal and oil and gas wells in and outside of the country and Michael Medado, as its Board Secretary. Last 2008 BGI was awarded by the Department of Energy license to explore the geothermal potential of the Province of Biliran.

Iceland Drilling Company Ltd (IDC) is a leading high technical company in the field of high temperature deep geothermal drilling and has many decades of experience in both high and low temperature drilling. The company operates internationally, and possesses a fleet of new hydraulic rigs and modern drilling equipment that can be transferred swiftly from one part of the world to another.

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The company has well-grounded expertise in international deep drilling projects, with a record of over 300 high temperature wells in the last 15 years. IDC´s field of operations has been in the Azores (Portugal), UK, Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Caribbean, Switzerland and in New Zealand. Currently the company is working in Iceland, Caribbean, and New Zealand.

Iceland Drilling Ltd. Company provides Integrated Drilling Services for all onshore Geothermal projects, as well as drilling services in other sectors.

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Witnessing the signing ceremony were Officials from the geothermal and drilling industry, representatives from other industries, various local government officials from the Province of Biliran and the Municipality of Caibiran and representatives from key government agencies.

Recently elected Biliran Governor Gerardo J. Espina, Jr. headed the delegation from the Provincial Government with Vice-Governor Manuel B. Montejo and Board Member (recently elected Provincial Vice-Governor) Engr. Eriberto D. Tubis, Jr. While Mayor EulalioMaderazo of the Municipality of Caibiran led the Caibiran delegation, joined by Vice Mayor Gracia Baribe and SB Member Rommel Berdal.

Representatives from the key government agencies also came to witness the signing ceremony led by Urbano Doydora, PENR Officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Biliran and Mrs. Flordelis E. Jackson, Manager of the Biliran Philippine Information Agency.

Also in attendance were officials from the Department of Energy (DOE), Philippine Associated Smelting and Refinery Corporation (PASAR), Officers of Filtech Energy Drilling Corporation (FEDCO), other officers of Orka Energy Philippines, key officials in the field of geothermal energy here in the country and in Iceland and other guests.

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In his presentation as prelude to the contract signing, Mr. Bragason emphasized the promising potential of geothermal power generation in the island of Biliran. Estimated to have a potential resource that can support a 49-megawatt power plant, he envisioned of helping Biliranons through building a power plant, similar to those in Iceland, thereby generating reliable electricity with possible integration into other activities, i.e. food drying, tourist spa attraction etc. And in the long run serve as the catalyst for economic growth and development of the province. He also showcased, as examples, the various geothermal power plants by Orka Energy Project Team already operational and is providing energy in various places in Iceland. Said plants had provided economic boost and tourism potential to their respective places.

Geothermal power, which is regarded as one of those energy resource as combatant against climate change,is power generated from the heat stored underground. It is considered as one of the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective energy solutions. It is an energy solution looked to by advocates of environmental sensitivity as an alternative to fossil fuels, along with other renewable sources such as wind energy, tidal energy, solar energy, and occasionally hydropower.

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