Mud volcanoes at Salton Sea. Author: Matthew Dillon. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).
British energy company Star Energy Group PLC (LON:STAR) has advanced its push to become a geothermal expert with the acquisition of a majority stake in a company that holds a geothermal waters exploration licence for certain areas in Ernestinovo in the Pannonian Basin in Croatia.
The Ernestinovo licence already has existing wells on site and Star Energy sees potential for a first-phase development of a 10-MW electricity generation plant using five to six wells producing and re-injecting geothermal brine.
Under the deal disclosed earlier this week, Star Energy, through a subsidiary, has bought a 51% stake in A14 Energy Limited from Peninsula International Pte Ltd for a total cash consideration of EUR 1.3 million (USD 1.41m).
The UK-based firm and Peninsula have also entered into an agreement to develop geothermal projects in the Balkan country and have already jointly submitted three bids for geothermal licences to the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency as part of the current licencing round.
“We are very pleased to announce our first overseas investment in geothermal as we look to build momentum in this part of our business. We identified a significant opportunity in Croatia which will allow faster development and diversification of Star Energy's geothermal interests,” said CEO Chris Hopkinson.
Croatia currently has one geothermal plant in operation, the 17.5-MWe Velika Ciglena which was commissioned in 2019. The Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency believes that the geothermal potential in the country exceeds 1 GW.