SIMEC Energy, part of the global GFG Alliance founded by the influential British Gupta Family, announced this week that it will acquire hydro developer Green Highland Renewables as well as set a target to build 1 gigawatt worth of renewable energy capacity in the UK within three years.
Announced on Tuesday, the 5th of December, SIMEC Energy revealed that it would acquire Scottish-based Green Highland Renewables, a hydro renewable energy developer which has been developing run-of-river hydro schemes since 2007. SIMEC Energy — part of the international resources SIMEC Group, involved in shipping, industry, mining, energy, and commodities, and owned by influential British businessman and founder of metals company Liberty House, Sanjeev Gupta — will acquire the company at an undisclosed sum from Ancala Partners in a transaction expected to close by the end of February 2018.
Not only does the purchase include 18 hydro-electric power stations located in the Scottish Highlands, but SIMEC confirmed that it will develop 8 hydropower plants on its own Lochaber Highland estate lands, with the planning process for these projects expected to begin in 2018. This builds on SIMEC’s already sizeable hydropower portfolio, including projects in Lochaber and Kinlochleven amounting to over 100 MW (megawatts).
“We are delighted to welcome the excellent Green Highland Renewables team to the GFG family,” said Jay Hambro, GFG Alliance chief investment officer and chief executive of SIMEC Energy. “They enjoy an enviable track record in building and operating hydro power assets. Hydro is a crucial element of our renewable energy strategy and GHR is a world leader in developing and operating this technology. Whether building new assets in Scotland or helping our initiatives in Australia, they will provide the expertise and resource we need in hydro power.”
“We are delighted to have agreed this deal at the same time as the publication of the UK Government’s white paper on industrial strategy because we intend to be a standard bearer for ‘clean growth’’ in the economy,” added Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG. “That link between energy and industry has been at the heart of our own low-carbon GREENSTEEL strategy for years and we are greatly encouraged to see public policy moving in the same direction.”
SIMEC Energy also announced that it plans to build 1 GW (gigawatt) worth of renewable energy capacity in the United Kingdom within the next three years in support of Liberty Steel’s (part of Liberty House) parallel target to develop 5 million tonnes of low-carbon “GREENSTEEL” production across the UK within five years.
“We are rising to the challenge of delivering one gigawatt green energy capacity to power UK industrial growth,” added Hambro. “That will double the size of SIMEC’’s existing portfolio. We are already one of the UK’’s largest producers of hydro power and, with this transaction, we will expand our hydro capacity even further.”
SIMEC Energy is also already consulting with local communities in the Scottish Highlands on a plan to build a £170 million wind farm at Glenshero which would have a capacity of 164 MW, and would be Britain’s first large-scale subsidy-free wind farm.
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