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London-based Star Energy Group has successfully acquired a 51% stake in A14 Energy, the holder of a geothermal exploration license situated in the eastern Croatian region of Ernestinovo within the Pannonian Basin. The acquisition marks Star Energy’s foray into international geothermal energy investments.

Formerly known as Igas Energy, Star Energy Group intends to construct a 10 MW geothermal power plant, a significant development in a country where only one such facility, Velika Ciglena, exists, having opened in November 2019.

A14 Energy holds the Ernestinovo geothermal exploration license through its Croatian subsidiary, IGeoPen, in the highly promising Pannonian Basin of Croatia, and the acquisition was executed through Star Energy’s subsidiary, GT Energy Croatia.

The purchase was completed for EUR 1.3 million in cash, with additional commitments of EUR 100,000 for cash-backed guarantees to the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency and EUR 200,000 for ongoing expenses related to the assessment of the Ernestinovo license.

Chris Hopkinson, CEO of Star Energy, expressed satisfaction with the company’s inaugural overseas geothermal investment, emphasizing the substantial opportunities in Croatia for advancing and diversifying their geothermal endeavors.

The Ernestinovo exploration license spans an area of 76.6 square kilometers, featuring three deep exploration wells and 250 kilometers of 2D seismic data that have been reprocessed and interpreted.

star energy croatia geothermal power ernestinovo

The company envisions the construction of a 10 MW electricity generation plant (ORC) based on initial estimations of heat reserves and well productivity. Plans also include the development of four producing wells, two injecting wells, and connections to the Ernestinovo substation, which is linked to Zagreb, Hungary, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina via 400 kV transmission lines and equipped with stepdown transformers for 110 kV and 85 kV.

Star Energy views this transaction as a pivotal step in its strategy to transition into a geothermal developer, owner, and operator, thereby mitigating regulatory risks and gaining entry into the electricity generation sector.

Highlighting the importance of the geothermal sector in the broader context of the energy transition, the company emphasized its ability to offer long-term baseload electricity and heat generation.

It is noteworthy that Croatia features six geothermal exploration areas spanning four counties: Međimurje, Koprivnica-Križevci, Podravina, and Osijek-Baranja.