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Equinor Boosts Renewables Portfolio With Brazil Acquisition

Norwegian oil company Equinor has signed an agreement with US private equity firm Denham Capital to acquire a leading onshore renewables company in Brazil and strengthen its position in the South American nation.

The transaction to purchase Rio Energy includes selected assets and the team, while Denham will retain certain assets.

“Through Rio Energy, Equinor will take a leading position in the rapidly growing Brazilian renewables industry,” said Equinor executive vice president for renewables Paal Eitrheim.

“It accelerates production and cash flow, gives us a strong platform for growth, and adds capabilities and an attractive project pipeline.”

The deal is part of Equinor’s strategy to grow its onshore renewable operations in selected markets by acquiring local companies such as Rio Energy.

The acquired portfolio consists of the 200 megawatts Serra da Babilonia 1 producing onshore wind farm in Bahia state, a 600 MW pre-construction solar photovoltaic portfolio and a pipeline of about 1.2 gigawatts of onshore wind and solar projects.

“Having Rio Energy onboard will strengthen Equinor’s ability to further develop the portfolio and reinforce our position as a broad energy company in Brazil,” said Equinor Brazil country manager Veronica Coelho.

“By building an attractive renewables position in the country, together with a robust oil and gas portfolio, we are supporting Brazil’s ambitions towards a diverse energy matrix.”

Once the transaction is completed and Denham carve-out certain assets, Rio Energy will be a fully owned Equinor subsidiary with a team of about 140 employees.

Over the past few years, Equinor has invested in several renewables companies such as Wento in Poland, BeGreen in Denmark, Noriker Power in the UK, and East Point Energy in the US.

In Brazil, Equinor already produces renewable energy via the 162 MW Apodi solar facility in Ceara state. The company is also building the 531 MW Mendubim solar complex in Rio Grande do Norte state.

Source : Upstream