EPI acquires 60% in Biliran Geothermal

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THE Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the change in ownership of Biliran Geothermal, Inc., giving 60-percent majority control of the company to Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI), a unit of publicly listed mining giant Nickel Asia Corp.

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The share acquisition will pave the way to the construction of a geothermal power plant, or plants, in Biliran province in Eastern Visayas that could give electricity to thousands more homes and businesses.

BGI has a 25-year contract covering 260 square kilometers in Biliran, where the firm successfully completed drilling eight wells that could supply 100 megawatts of power.

Initial research had it that another estimated 170-MW could be developed in the northern part of the concession area.

In a letter sent by BOI Legal and Compliance Service Director Marjorie O. Ramos-Samaniego to BGI on October 7, the government agency gave permission to proceed with the share transaction of BGI.

Following the BOI’s approval, EPI was granted 60 percent shares in the company, with Orka Energy Holding Ehf of Iceland retaining its 40 percent ownership.

Before the share transaction, Filipino company Filtech Energy Corp. owned 60 percent shares of BGI, with Orka Energy’s Biliran Geothermal Holdings Inc. (BGHI) owning 40 percent.

EPI president Martin Antonio Zamora considers the Biliran concession as one of the firm’s major projects.

“We assure the peopl f Biliran that EPI and Orka will bring them the clean, reliable energy that they need,” said Zamora.

In a recent disclosure, EPI’s mother firm NAC said it would guarantee the loan facility of EPI for up to P3 billion over a three-year period to finance EPI’s renewable energy projects.

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.

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