Foreign Energy Company Buys Icelandic Geothermal Plant — The Reykjavik Grapevine

Foreign Energy Company Buys Icelandic Geothermal Plant

Published January 10, 2011

In a move reminiscent of the Magma Energy débâcle, an Australian company has bought the Orkuveita Húsavíkur geothermal plant.
It is reported that Wasabi Energy has made the purchase, based on the fact that Global Geothermal Limited (GGL) – a subsidiary of the company – owns the rights to what is known as the Kalina Cycle technology, which converts geothermal power into electricity.
In turn, GGL will sell the electricity produced by the plant to the Icelandic power grid, through a power purchase agreement with the regional utility, Orkusalan ehf.
John Byrne, the executive chairman of Wasabi Energy, said in a statement to the press that, “We are delighted to be making our first geothermal acquisition in Iceland and we look forward to providing the people of Húsavík with a reliable, safe and clean source of power whilst working closely with the Icelandic geothermal community.”
It should be noted however that the buy-out is still pending formal approval of the Foreign Investment Review Committee – the same committee that drew up its report on Magma Energy’s purchase of HS Orka.
The sale’s announcement coincides with the news that over 15% of the country has signed a petition imploring the Icelandic government to stop the sale of HS Orka to Magma, and also to start a referendum on Icelandic natural resources in public ownership.
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