FRI-ELGEO Pangea Projekt

Fri-El group seeking partners to develop activities in geothermal energy

Fri-El group looking for partners to develop geothermal business Carosielli on page 15 At a key moment for the energy world, a new dossier is poised to enliven the Italian renewables sector. The South Tyrolean Gostner family, owner of the Fri-El Group (which has controlled the listed Alerion Clean Power since 2017), has decided to seek new partners for the geothermal business.

In particular, the group has appointed advisor Equita to sell 50 percent of Fri-El Geo, a company that is developing plants for medium-enthalpy geothermal energy (i.e., with a water temperature between 130-170 degrees) in Italy,to an investor who will support the company’s plans together with the family, considering that overall the development plans will require capex of about3 billion euros (about 200 millionia plant is needed).

Information memoranduma a select number of investors from among the leading players in the industry (both Italian and foreign)and also to some major infrastructure funds will be officially sent today.The proceeds from the sale will be made available by the family for the next stages of the group’s growth. Founded in 2021, Fri-El Geo has presented, with the full support of several institutions including the Ministry of Environmentand Energy Security, the Pangea Project with which it aims to build plants using heat from underground geothermal sources to be distributed in population centers and industrial areas throughout the country particularly in Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna. As explainedto MF-Milano Finanza Marino Marchi, managing director Investment Banking at Equita, which will manage the sale process related to the Pangea Project, 15 sites of particular interest have been identified for which the company has acquired exploratory permits that guarantee the exclusive possibility, for the next six years, to install the plants.” Currently, Marchi continues, “sites are located in the areas of Milan, Bergamo, Brescia, Pavia, Mantua, Ferrara, and Como, i.e., where district heating networks are present.”

Currently, in fact, the group is already developing (at an advanced stage) the first industrial planta Ostellato (Ferrara), which is expected to vectorize the first heat early next yearand would have attracted to itself the attentions of several bigwigs in the industry. Overall in the Po Valley alone there would be at least a hundred sites where it would be possible to build medium-enthalpy geothermal plants. Subsurface data are available in this area due to exploration conducted by Eni in the 1950s-60s.

If all 100 potential geothermal plants went into operation, given also the possibility of generating electricity, they could avoid the consumption of as much as 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, one-seventh of what Italy consumes, equivalent to more than 17 million tons of avoided Co2.

Milan Finance – NICOLA CAROSIELLI – 05/04/2023