KKR makes its first investment in European renewables

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), one of the world’s biggest private equity groups, has made its first European renewable energy investment by teaming up with an Italian power company building wind farms in France, according to the Financial Times.

The US group and Italy’s Sorgenia are to form a joint venture with assets including about 153 MW of wind capacity already built by Sorgenia, and another 95 MW in an advanced stage of development.

Sorgenia will manage operations and the partners will have an equal share in the joint venture under the agreement, based on an enterprise value of around €236m ($342m).

The deal is the first investment for KKR’s new infrastructure fund, which had its first close at the end of 2010, said Jesus Olmos, European head of KKR’s infrastructure business. “Wind being the first investment is not a coincidence,” he said. KKR sees the wind farms as “core infrastructure assets providing long-term cash flow visibility”, he added. The deal prices each MW of operating asset at nearly €1.5m, in line with the global average of €1.58m.

GE Energy invests in eSolar CSP

GE Energy is to take ‘integrated solar combined-cycle’ (ISCC) technology to global markets after concluding an investment and licensing agreement with US-based eSolar. The Californian company provides next generation, tower-based concentrating solar technology.

A 530 MW integrated renewables combined-cycle (IRCC) power plant due on line in 2015 in Karaman, Turkey was described by Paul Browning, president and CE) – Thermal Products for GE Energy as “the first example of how our recent investment in eSolar will enable future growth opportunities for GE Energy”.

Areva CEO forecasts nuclear project delays of six to nine months

French nuclear reactor maker Areva expects safety concerns stemming from Japan’s nuclear disaster to delay reactor projects already under consideration by six to nine months, said its chief executive.

Anne Lauvergeon said the company would soon put out revised forecasts reflecting the impact of the Fukushima accident, said Reuters. But the firm has yet to abandon a target of selling another 45 EPRs by 2020, although it is “in the process of re-evaluating” it, Lauvergeon told BFM radio. “But we’re not significantly changing our production plan,” she added. Four EPRs are now under construction.

International Power transfers Thai National Power asset to Glow Energy

International Power has announced that it has started to transfer its Thai National Power (TNP) assets to Glow Energy Public Company Limited (Glow Energy).

TNP operates a 136 MW plant and is constructing the 110 MW TNP 2 plant. International Power currently owns 100 per cent of TNP and 69 per cent of Glow Energy.

International Power’s equity interest in TNP is expected to be transferred to Glow Energy for a cash consideration of $55m and Glow Energy will assume the debt held by TNP. This transfer will consolidate the electricity generation activities of International Power in Thailand under one entity.

Following this transaction, International Power will continue to own 69 per cent of the enlarged Glow Energy. The transfer is expected to be completed by Q3 2011.

ACWA Power buys major stake in Jordan’s CEGCO

ACWA Power International, a Saudi Arabian firm, has agreed with Jordan Dubai Capital to buy a 51 per cent stake valued at $144m in Jordan’s Central Electricity Generation Company (CEGCO).

A specialist in privately owned and financed power generation and desalinattion plants, ACWA Power embarked outside Saudi Arabia last year with the purchase of the Barka 1 IWPP in Oman.

CEGCO is the largest power generator in Jordan. Its seven complexes total 1700 MW of installed power capacity and meet 59 per cent of national consumption.

E.ON seeks phase-out compensation

While accepting Germany’s nuclear phase-out decision, E.ON expects “due compensation for the financial damages associated with these decisions, which is expected to amount to billions of euros”, said a company press release.

“For reasons pertaining to stock corporation law alone – and to safeguard the interests of its more than 500 000 small shareholders – E.ON is not permitted to accept this kind of financial damage,” said the utility. The company will now work out the precise financial burden.

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Aboitz: The power generation segment of the Philippine group has allotted 100bn peso ($2.3bn) to capex from 2011 to 2013. All projects covered by the outlay have been approved.

Citec Group: The Finland-based engineering and information management consultancy aims to double its turnover by 2015 with the consolidation of Citec Engineering Oy Ab and Citec Information Oy Ab under Sentica Partners as the new majority shareholder.

Dresser-Rand: The supplier of high-speed rotating equipment has closed its €500m ($707m) acquisition of Grupo Guascor, a Spain-based supplier of diesel and gas engines with experience in bioenergy and distributed generation applications.

ExxonMobil: The corporation has bought two shale gas exploration companies – Philipps Resources and TWP – for $1.69bn to gain shale gas reserves in the US’ East Coast states, according to Bloomberg.

GE: GE aims to accelerate the commercialization of power grid technology by acquiring Ireland-based FMC-Tech, a provider of real-time power line monitoring. The purchase is among a dozen investments under GE’s ecomagination challenge.

International Power: The firm has agreed to sell its 33.3 per cent stake in the 420 MW T-Power CCGT power plant in Belgium for €48m ($68m)to Itochu, a subsidiary of which will take on International Power’s O&M role at the plant.

JFE Engineering: The JFE Holdings Group firm aims to complete by fiscal 2012 a commercial 2.5 MW solar thermal plant with about 100 mirrors, a 20-metre tower and a turbine system, with a goal of winning several orders yearly from 2013.

M+W Group: PV capacity engineered and constructed by the Germany-based firm has now topped 10 GW. Since 2000 the group has built 40 PV plants, mainly in Asia and the Americas.

Vattenfall: The firm has agreed to sell its Helsingør CHP plant in Denmark to Forsyning Helsingør, which is also purchasing the heat purchase line. The plant burns natural gas and has a capacity of 60 MW in electricity and 60 MW of district heat.


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