London-based Star Energy Group has bought a 51% stake in A14 Energy, which owns a geothermal waters exploration license for an area in Ernestinovo in the Pannonian Basin in eastern Croatia.
Star Energy, formerly known as Igas Energy, plans to build a 10 MW geothermal power plant. Of note, Croatia currently has only one such facility, Velika Ciglena, which was opened in November 2019.
A14 Energy owns, via its Croatian subsidiary IGeoPen, the Ernestinovo geothermal waters exploration license, in the highly prospective Pannonian Basin in Croatia, Star Energy said.
The takeover was conducted through the company’s subsidiary GT Energy Croatia.
This is Star Energy’s first overseas investment in geothermal energy
The purchase cost the firm EUR 1.3 million in cash. Additionally, Star Energy will pay EUR 100,000, relating to the provision of cash-backed guarantees to the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, plus EUR 200,000 in back costs relating to the ongoing appraisal of the Ernestinovo license.
“We are very pleased to announce our first overseas investment in geothermal as we look to build momentum in this part of our business,” CEO of Star Energy Chris Hopkinson said.
He added it has identified a significant opportunity in Croatia that would allow faster development and diversification of the company’s geothermal interests.
According to its documentation, the Ernestinovo exploration license spans 76.6 square kilometers and includes three drilled deep exploration wells and 250 kilometers of 2D seismic data reprocessed and interpreted.
A 10 MW electricity generation plant (ORC) is planned
Based on preliminary heat reserves and well productivity estimates, a 10 MW electricity generation plant (ORC) is planned, the document reads.
The company plans to prepare four producing and two injecting wells and to connect to the Ernestinovo substation, connected via 400 kV transmission lines to Zagreb, Hungary, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has stepdown transformers for 110 kV and 85 kV.
Star Energy pointed out that the transaction further develops its strategy to transition into a geothermal developer, owner, and operator, diversifying regulatory risk and providing an entry into the electricity generation sector.
The geothermal sector is a fundamental component of the energy transition, with the ability to provide long-term baseload electricity and heat generation, it said.
Of note, there are six geothermal exploration areas in four Croatian counties: Međimurje, Koprivnica-Križevci, Podravina, and Osijek-Baranja.