Nickel Asia to invest P2.16B in RE subsidiary

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Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), one of the country’s biggest mining firms, has approved an additional equity contribution of P660 million to its 66 percent-owned renewable energy (RE) subsidiary, Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI), as well as a P1.5 billion three-year term loan to be provided by NAC.

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In a disclosure on Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), NAC Board of Directors approved additional equity contribution together with bank financing at the project company level, to complete EPI projects with a total capacity 105 megawatts lined up for 2016.

The fundraising comes after its fully owned subsidiary, Jobin-SQM, Inc. (JSI), successfully energized 7 MW of solar power, which is expected to trade this week. This represents the first phase of its 100 MW solar farm project located at the Subic Bay Freeport. The balance of 93 MW is targeted for completion in 2016.

The 100 MW solar project, slated to be one of the country’s largest, is expected to be completed at a total project cost of close to P8 billion. The JSI RE Service Contract also includes a 50 MW wind farm, which is scheduled for development in 2017.

The funds will also be used for the development of the first geothermal power plant under its 60 percent-owned subsidiary, Biliran Geothermal, Inc. (BGI). The total project with a capacity of 5 MW has an estimated cost of about P800 million. Seven holes have previously been drilled in the Biliran geothermal field, all of which exhibit the required temperatures for the production of geothermal power. The development of additional plants and required infrastructure, as well as further drilling of this potentially large geothermal field, is currently under study.

“We have gained a lot of momentum in the past year especially in our Subic project and also in the other areas. EPI is determined to develop all of these clean energy projects in the soonest possible time,” NAC President and CEO Gerard H. Brimo said.

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