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Imperator Enerji closes 50% acquisition in Tuzla geothermal project, Turkey

Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey (source: flickr/ A H T, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 13 Aug 2012

Imparator Enerji, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wasabi Energy, announces it has concluded the purchase of a 50% stake in the Tuzla geothermal project in Turkey.

Wasabi Energy (ASX: WAS, AIM: WAS) reports that its wholly owned subsidiary Imparator Enerji has now concluded the purchase of the Option with the final payment of US$2.65m and confirms that the Option will be held by a subsidiary company of Imparator Enerji, to be known as Imparator Tuzla Jeotermal Enerji Uretim A.S. (currently being established). Further details of the Option terms and conditions and the Project can be found in Wasabi Energy’s previously released announcements regarding the Project on 4 April and 22 May 2012.

Subject to the exercise of the Option, Wasabi Energy will develop the Project by way of a 50/50 joint venture with the current project operator, Egenda Ege Enerji Uretim A.S. (Egenda), an independent power producer based in Izmir, Turkey.  The Option is exercisable until December 2013 and Wasabi Energy will be required to pay approximately US$3.6m for the exercise.  This exercise price represents 50% of the equity capital invested by Egenda into the Project (subject to certain adjustments).

The Project covers an area of approximately 11km2 of a very shallow and relatively high temperature geothermal zone in North Western Turkey and hosts a recently installed and currently operating 7.5 MWe power plant.  The Tuzla geothermal field has been extensively studied since the 1960’s through a range of geological, geochemical and geophysical techniques including the drilling of several deep wells into the target reservoir which have collectively confirmed the Project as a major regional geothermal resource.

Resource estimates as recently as 2008 by the MTA, the Mineral Research & Exploration General Directorate, which discovered the resource, indicate power generation potential of up to 80MWe.  Imparator Enerji is working closely with Egenda on a production license expansion initiative, which may result in an increase in the footprint of tenure held by the Tuzla Company (owner of the Project) over the Greater Tuzla geothermal resource.

Furthermore, Imparator Enerji is collaborating with the Project’s technical team to develop a work program
of potential modifications to the existing power plant, which subject to joint venture approval, may be
implemented to achieve maximum electricity generation. Concurrently with the power plant optimisation
activities, Imparator Enerji has commenced the development of a pre?feasibility study for a proposed 14 ?
17.5 MWe first?stage build?out at the Project, which also, subject to joint venture approval, may utilise
Wasabi Energy’s proprietary Kalina Cycle® technology.

“Wasabi Energy’s Turkish subsidiary Imparator Enerji has reached a milestone with the completion of the purchase of the Option for a 50% interest in an advanced geothermal project, the Tuzla Geothermal Power Project. We will be working closely with Egenda to develop plans for the existing plant and the development of the rest of the field which offers a number of opportunities for the Kalina Cycle®.

Turkey continues to provide an excellent market for project development and Imparator Enerji is well positioned as an emerging power producer.”

Source: Wasabi release (pdf)