Iceland’s IDC to drill $185-M Mindoro plant

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RENEWABLE energy firm Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) said it has tapped one of Iceland’s leading drilling companies to undertake drilling works for its 40-megawatt $185-million Montelago geothermal power plant in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro “to ensure a technically superior work.”

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Martin Antonio G. Zamora, EPI chairman and senior vice president for marketing and strategic planning of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), said the company has chosen Iceland Drilling Corporation (IDC) following a comprehensive six-month selection process.

The awarding of the drilling contract to IDC came after EPI conducted a successful exploration drilling of its well pads in Oriental Mindoro.

Last March, the company said it found the site “capable of producing 40 MW of power for the Montelago Geothermal Power Project in 2017.”

“We are tapping IDC to ensure a technically superior work in our 40-MW geothermal project in Oriental Mindoro,” Zamora said.

Under the multi-million dollar deal signed between EPI and IDC last April 20, IDC will drill at least two wells with a projected maximum of 12 wells to produce the planned 40-MW capacity.

“With the signing of the contract, IDC will now be involved with Emerging Power, Inc. to ensure the readiness of the site for the arrival and assembly of the drilling equipment,” Zamora said.

Drilling of the first exploration well is expected to commence on July 15, according to Zamora.

EPI awarded the drilling contract to IDC because its rig’s technical capability matched the firm’s drilling plan requirements aside from its competitive pricing plan and payment terms.

For the Mindoro geothermal project, IDC will be using a Geysir Drillmec HH-20SS equipment–a trailer mounted, fast moving, automatic, hydraulic rotary drilling rig with a drilling depth capability of 4,000 meters.

The heavy equipment has been previously used in a geothermal drilling project in Biliran.

Nickel Asia, a listed company, ventured into renewable energy through EPI. It recently announced it was exercising its option to convert a loan extended to EPI into a controlling stake in the firm.

In an earlier disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), NAC said its board of directors approved the conversion of its one-year P446 million loan to equity in EPI.

The conversion of the loan corresponds to an initial 55 percent ownership in EPI.

NAC said the board has likewise approved an additional investment of P474 million, to be made in stages, to further raise its stake in EPI to 66 percent.

Other renewable energy projects being advanced by EPI is a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur, a 2.5-MW biogas project in Quezon; and a 10-MW solar and bunker hybrid project in Northern Palawan.

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