Nickel Asia to invest in geothermal firm

MANILA – Nickel Asia Corporation is investing P920 million to acquire a 66 % stake in renewable energy firm Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) which is developing the Montelago geothermal project in Mindoro Oriental.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said it has received a new Volumetric Assessment Report from Iceland Geosurvey, consultant to the project proponent EPI, following the results of the two slim wells that have recently been completed.

The new Volumetric Assessment Report, which incorporated the data from the two slim wells, resulted in an increase in the Montelago geothermal resource to a most likely range of 28 to 30 MW of power over a 25-year period. The resource can expand with further drilling.

As a result, NAC said its board of directors has approved the conversion of its one-year P446 million loan to equity in EPI corresponding to an initial ownership of 55 %.

The board also approved an additional investment of P474 million, to be invested in stages, which will increase the Company’s ultimate ownership in EPI to 66 %.

The funds will be used for drilling of additional wells and related production facilities within the geothermal field.

The 40 MW Montelago project is being undertaken under a special purpose corporate vehicle (SPV) and it is expected that overseas investment funds that specialize in renewable energy projects will invest directly in the SPV to complete the equity portion of the project.

NAC said the new investment will allow the firm to develop a new business segment that can develop long term revenues for the company and, at the same time, help address the lack of power in the country by focusing on renewable energy sources. –

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