* Magma CEO says returns to geothermal industry been poor
* Declines to say where investment opportunities lie
* Magma posts deeper quarterly loss
(Amounts in US dollars unless stated)
VANCOUVER, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Magma Energy Corp MXY.TO is looking for investments outside the geothermal energy sector, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday, lamenting the industry’s limited scope for growth.
Ross Beaty, CEO of Magma, one of the world’s biggest developers of geothermal energy resources, also said he is disappointed with the lack of “real return” to investors in the sector over the past few years.
“We have also been looking for accretive growth opportunities and have reviewed a number of these, including some opportunities beyond the geothermal industry that we think could marry well with our geothermal focus,” Beaty said.
“The geothermal industry is small and the scope for growth quite limited, even internationally,” he said on a conference call to discuss Magma’s quarterly results.
Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy that comes from hot water and steam produced deep inside the earth. These are piped up to the surface and used to drive turbines to produce electricity.
Beaty said Magma had looked at at “a ton” of geothermal opportunities and only invested in one, a geothermal producer called HS Orka based in Iceland.
The Canadian-based company posted a deeper loss of $9.1 million in the three months to end-December, down from a $3.5 million loss in the same period in 2009.
Magma’s stock was down 2 Canadian cents, or 1.5 percent, at C$1.33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.
($1 = $0.99 Canadian)
Reporting by Nicole Mordant