Icelandic firm to invest $ 1 bn in global geothermal energy

Jan 14, 2007 01:00 AM

An Icelandic investor, a bank and an engineering firm have set up a company with the intention of raising $ 1 bn to invest in geothermal energy around the world.
Geysir Green Energy has already raised $ 100 mm from its founders, FL Group, an investment company with 239.5 bn Icelandic krona ($ 3.3 bn) in assets, Icelandic and Norwegian bank Glitnir and engineering consultants VGK Hoennun.

Asgeir Margeirsson, chief executive of Geysir Green Energy, said that it will take about three years to raise $ 1 bn, but the firm plans to begin investing "within a matter of weeks". It will invest in geothermal projects at all stages of development, as well as buying up companies and acquiring existing geothermal plants from utilities.
Margeirsson said that the company will focus on investment opportunities in Asia, Europe and the Americas. He said that, as well as financing, the company will provide technology and know-how, "based on the Icelandic experience, which is vast". Margeirsson was previouslya director at Reykjavik Energy, the municipal utility for the Icelandic capital.

Iceland is a world leader in geothermal energy, which involves mining heat from the Earth. The country has a high concentration of volcanoes and hot springs, which it taps to supply 85 % of houses with heat, according to Reykjavik Energy.
Runolfur Maack, managing director of VGK Hoennun, said: "Icelandic engineers have had plenty of ideas for development in this area in the past, but have lacked the financial strength needed to implement them. Geysir Green Energy will combine the technical know-how we have in Iceland with international investment skills."
Bjarni Armannsson, chief executive of Glitnir, said: "Harnessing geothermal power makes it possible to reconcile economic and environmental considerations."

Source: Environmental Finance
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