London-based Star Energy Group has taken a significant step in its renewable energy endeavors by acquiring a 51% stake in A14 Energy, the proprietor of a geothermal waters exploration license located in the Ernestinovo region of the Pannonian Basin in eastern Croatia.
Formerly known as Igas Energy, Star Energy plans to leverage this acquisition to establish a 10 MW geothermal power plant, which would be a notable addition to Croatia’s limited geothermal energy infrastructure.
The acquisition was orchestrated via Star Energy’s subsidiary, GT Energy Croatia, and involved a cash payment of EUR 1.3 million. Additional financial commitments include EUR 100,000 for cash-backed guarantees to the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency and EUR 200,000 in back costs related to ongoing license appraisal.
This strategic move marks Star Energy’s inaugural foray into overseas geothermal investments, as it seeks to accelerate its presence in this facet of the energy sector. Chris Hopkinson, CEO of Star Energy, expressed enthusiasm over the potential that Croatia’s geothermal landscape offers for the company’s growth.
The geothermal exploration license, situated across 76.6 square kilometers, encompasses three drilled deep exploration wells and 250 kilometers of 2D seismic data. Star Energy envisions a 10 MW electricity generation plant using an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), leveraging the anticipated heat reserves and well productivity.
Star Energy’s plans also entail the preparation of producing and injecting wells, in addition to establishing connections to the Ernestinovo substation. This substation is vital, as it’s linked to various locations via 400 kV transmission lines, including Zagreb, Hungary, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The acquisition aligns seamlessly with Star Energy’s strategic evolution, facilitating its transformation into a comprehensive geothermal developer, owner, and operator. This not only diversifies the company’s risk profile but also extends its foothold into the electricity generation sector.
The significance of geothermal energy in the broader context of the energy transition cannot be overstated. With its capability to furnish consistent, long-term baseload electricity and heat generation, geothermal energy aligns with the goals of sustainable energy development.
Croatia itself presents several geothermal exploration opportunities across various counties, including Međimurje, Koprivnica-Križevci, Podravina, and Osijek-Baranja, thus accentuating the nation’s growing commitment to sustainable energy solutions.