Biliran Geothermal Site in Sitio Pulang Yuta, Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran. File Photo

Business World Online

A SUBSIDIARY of Nickel Asia Corp. has moved to acquire a majority stake in renewable energy firm Biliran Geothermal, Inc. (BGI), owner of the contract to build a 100-megawatt (MW) geothermal facility in Leyte province.

In a statement yesterday, Nickel Asia unit Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI) and Orka Energy announced the signing of an agreement last Monday that would “eventually give EPI 60% ownership of Biliran Geothermal, Inc. (BGI) subject to the approval of regulatory bodies.”

BGI holds a 25-year geothermal energy contract that covers a 260-kilometer resource area in the province of Biliran.

Biliran Geothermal Site in Sitio Pulang Yuta, Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran. File Photo
Biliran Geothermal Site in Sitio Pulang Yuta, Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran. File Photo
BGI already drilled eight wells in the southern part of the concession area, the companies said, noting that the site is estimated to supply about 100 MW of power to the grid.

The northern portion is expected to generate another 170 MW once developed, according to the statement.

EPI Chairman Martin Antonio G. Zamora said the deal will allow the company to expand its 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,” the company official was quoted in the statement as saying.

Orka Energy is owned by Chandler Corp., a Singapore-based private investment group that engages in a range of industries, including energy, financial services, consumer, and health care.

The core team of Orka Energy has developed 1,500-MW of geothermal power into operation in the last 30 years, according to the same statement.

“Orka Energy and EPI share the same vision: harnessing geothermal energy to meet Asia’s demand for cleaner, sustainable energy,” the statement quoted Orka Energy Chief Executive Officer Eirikur Bragason as saying.

“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,” he added.

EPI is majority owned by locally-listed miner Nickel Asia Corp.
Besides this new venture, EPI is already developing a 40-MW geothermal project in Oriental Mindoro.

The company’s other projects in the pipeline include 100-MW solar and wind projects in Subic, Zambales; a 30-MW solar-bunker hybrid project in Palawan; a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur; and a 2.5-MW biogas project in Quezon Province. — Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

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