EPI, Orka Energy ink deal for Biliran Geothermal Project

MANILA, Aug. 27 (PNA) -– Icelandic-firm Orka Energy has signed a deal with Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) to transfer its 60-percent stake in Biliran Geothermal Inc.

”On Monday, August 24, 2015, renewable energy company Emerging Power, Inc. signed an agreement with Orka Energy, which would eventually give EPI 60 percent ownership of Biliran Geothermal Inc. subject to the approval of regulatory bodies,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

The Philippines has a foreign ownership limit of 40 percent, with the 60-percent majority mandated to be held by a local firm.

Biliran Geothermal holds a 25-year renewable energy contract that covers 260 square kilometres in the Biliran province. It has already completed drilling eight wells, which has an estimated power supply of 100 MW, located in the Southern portion of the concession area.

The Icelandic-firm had acquired the stakes of Reykjavik Energy Invest and Geysir Green Energy, which are also Iceland-based companies, for the project in 2012.

The Filipino firm, for its part, added initial research showed that another 170 MW could be developed in the northern part of the concession area.

Antonio Martin Zamora, EPI chairman, said the firm is quickly expanding its renewable energy portfolio. He noted Orka’s expertise will help in its mission to supply clean energy and provide plenty of job opportunities for the Biliran people.

Orka Energy has developed 1,500-MW of geothermal capacity for the last 30 years. It is owned by Chandler Corp., a private investment group that invests across the globe on different industries.

For his part, Orka chief-executive-officer Eirikur Bragason said the company looks forward to working with the Filipino firm on the Biliran Project.

The local power firm is majority owned by the biggest mining firm of the country Nickel Asia Corp.

Earlier, the company has disclosed a guaranteed Php3-billion loan facility for Biliran and other projects, which will be released in a three-year period.

The generation company also noted its other projects are the 100-MW solar and wind project in Subic, a 30-MW hybrid solar bunker project in Palawan, a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur and a 2.5-MW biogas project in Quezon. (PNA)