EPI buys 60% in Biliran geothermal project company in the Philippines
PhilStar: "Nickel Asia Corp. has approved to guarantee the loan facilities of renewable energy firm Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) for up to P3 billion over a maximum period of three years."
Nickel Asia said the loan facility would be used by EPI to finance the purchase of a 60 percent stake in Biliran Geothermal Inc. (BGI) among other pruchases.
BGI has a geothermal Renewable Energy Service Contract covering 260 square kilometers in the province of Biliran. Resource studies indicated reserves of at least 100MW in the southern portion of the concession.
Eight geothermal wells have been have so far been completed in this portion.
Separate studies for the northern portion of the concession indicate a potential for another 170MW of geothermal power.
Nickel Asia said the balance of the loan facility would be used to fund the initial portion of equity in BGI and the initial electrical turbines of up to 10MW capacity that would be operational by the third quarter of 2016.
Last year, Nickel Asia provided EPI with a P446 million loan to partly fund the drilling of two holes under the Montelago geothermal project in Mindoro Oriental. The drilling results confirmed an increase in the geothermal resource to a range of 28MW to 30MW of power over 25 years.
Given this development, Nickel Asia’s board approved the conversion of the loan to a 55-percent equity in EPI, allowing it to participate in other renewable power projects pipelined by the renewable energy firm. The board also approved an additional investment of P474 million in the Montelago project, which will increase Nickel Asia’s ownership in EPI to 66 percent.