by RITCHIE A. HORARIO
The Manila Times
RENEWABLE energy company Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI) has signed an agreement with Orka Energy (Orka) for a geothermal power project in Biliran, Leyte.
The agreement would eventually give EPI 60 percent ownership of Biliran Geothermal Inc. (BGI), subject to the approval of regulatory bodies.
BGI has a 25-year geothermal RE contract covering 260 square kilometers in the province of Biliran.
The firm has successfully completed drilling eight wells in the southern portion of the concession area which can supply an estimated 100 megawatts (MW) of power to the grid.
Initial research shows that a further 170 MW of geothermal energy could be developed in the northern part of the concession area.
EPI chairman Antonio Martin Zamora said they are quickly expanding their 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 Zamora.
Orka CEO Eirikur Bragason said the two firms share the same vision of 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 Bragason.
Orka Energy is owned by the Chandler Corporation, 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 1500 MW of geothermal power into operation in the last 30 years. The company has its roots in Iceland and has projects in the Philippines, Singapore, and China.
EPI is majority owned by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), 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 RE projects.
Aside from BGI, 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) project in Palawan, a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur, and a 2.5-MW biogas project in Quezon Province.