European renewables giant acquires Turkish hydro projects

Statkraft AS, which is described as Europe’s largest renewable energy company, and Global Investment Holdings, a Turkish diversified holding company, have signed an agreement to transfer hydropower projects to Statkraft.

Under the agreement Statkraft acquires Yesil Enerji, a company with controlling interests in seven hydropower projects in Turkey. The potential of the project portfolio is an annual generation capacity of approximately 2 TWh.

The agreement is Statkraft’s first in Turkey. Statkraft acquires 95 per cent of Yesil Enerji, a subsidiary of Global Investment Holdings. Yesil Enerji holds controlling interests in seven hydropower projects with a combined installed capacity of 633 MW.

The development and construction of the seven hydropower plants is estimated to require a total investment of between €600–700m ($811–947m).

One of the hydropower projects, a 20 MW facility, is under construction and scheduled for completion by the end of this year. Development of the other projects is scheduled to begin in 2010.

The transaction and transfer of the shares is expected to take place in June this year.

Abu Dhabi’s IPIC acquires 70 per cent stake in MAN Ferrostaal

Following approval by international antitrust authorities, the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) becomes the new majority owner of solar and gas power provider MAN Ferrostaal.

IPIC, which is based in Abu Dhabi, acquires 70 per cent of the shares, while MAN AG remains a shareholder with a 30 per cent stake.

The price for 100 per cent of the shares will amount to approximately €700m ($947m), depending on the outcome of a mutual option that MAN and IPIC have agreed upon the sale and purchase of the remaining shares. The transaction includes all business activities and subsidiaries.

Siemens expands solar know-how

Siemens Energy, for an undisclosed sum, has acquired a 28 per cent stake in the Italian solar company Archimede Solar Energy SpA (ASA).

ASA is said to be the sole producer of solar receivers that uses molten salt as heat transfer fluid for parabolic-trough power plants.

Siemens will provide capital for the fast expansion of production capacities, with the possibility to acquire a majority stake in the solar company in the mid-term.

Construction of a factory, scheduled to be up and running in 2010, will begin before the end of this year.

GE to open power technology centre in Russia

GE Energy has signed an agreement to build a new power technology centre in the Kaluga Region that will initially provide services for GE power generation equipment installed in Russia and the Central Asian States.

The new Kaluga technology centre will include an office building and industrial shop, and in its first phase, handle the repair and service of GE heavy-duty gas turbine components.

GE Energy anticipates that the technology centre, once fully operational, will employ between 50 and 100 highly skilled Russian engineers and service staff.

Commissioning and startup is scheduled for the first quarter of 2011.

“The establishment of the Kaluga power technology centre is part of our multi-step localization plan for Russia,” said Rod Christie, CEO, GE Energy Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS. “All of our work in Russia supports the country’s broader goals to promote energy security, efficiency and reduce environmental impact by utilizing world-class technologies.”

Last month GE opened a new GE Energy sales, services and technology centre in Moscow.

National Grid to cut CO2 emissions by 45 per cent by 2020

UK network operator National Grid plans to cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2020 as the country aims to reduce output of the greenhouse gas by 80 per cent by 2050.

National Grid said in a statement it would launch from April carbon budgets for investment decisions, and will measure staff performance on their carbon emissions as well as its customer service and reliability.

It would use the £27.60 ($40.20) per tonne shadow price for carbon, set by the government, to determine emissions costs for future design, it said.

The group estimates its emissions will be about 11.5m tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent for 2009/2010.

Alstom’s single power entity

Alstom has announced it is merging all its activities related to power generation, currently managed by two sectors, Power Systems (plants, equipment and retrofit) and Power Service (after-sales, from service to renovation and spare parts) into a single entity.

Philippe Joubert has been appointed as the president of the new Alstom Power Sector. The establishment of a single Power Sector will improve the commercial performance of the group and optimize its engineering and production means, the French company said.

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Capital sun: Norwegian mining and renewables company, Hydro, has announced it is planning to provide a capital injection of NOK93m ($14m) into NorSun, the solar energy firm in which it holds a 18.4 per cent stake.

Caribbean dream: Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has completed its $320m acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in the existing Caribbean portfolio of Marubeni Corporation, Japan’s largest trading company.

Cogen co-development: Japan’s Honda Motor Company is to join forces with the Valliant Group of Germany to co-develop a compact gas fired combined heat and power system for the domestic home market in Germany.

Greek gods of wind: Greek stock market regulator gave the green light to the Spanish renewable energy firm, Iberdrola Renovables, to take full control of Rokas, its Greek wind power subsidiary. Last year it launched a €175m ($237m) bid to buy all of Rokas’ outstanding shares.

Nuclear legacy: Swedish nuclear technology company Studvik AB is to sell its subsidiary AB SVAFO to four nuclear power companies, namely OKG AB, Ringhals AB, Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB and Barsback Kraft AB. SVAFO is a non-commercial operation that is responsible for managing historic radioactive waste.

Pump it up: Flowserve and Al-Rushaid Group recently opened the largest pump manufacturing, repair and testing facility in the Middle East region. Located in Saudi Arabia, the facility will support customers in a number of industry sectors, including power and water desalination in the region.

Renewable investment: HgCapital’s Renewable Power Partner Funds has invested €300m ($406m) in three Spanish solar photovoltaic solar plants, with a combined capacity of 35 MW. With this investment, HgCapital has controlling shares in 35 European renewable energy projects under construction, operational or in development.

Total eclipse: In partnership with GDF Suez, Total plans to build a plant in eastern France to manufacture silicon wafers for the photovoltaic industry. The initial investment for the plant is €70m ($95m).