Smart Energy Finances: Enel divests 50% of Australian renewable operations to Japanese oil and gas giant

Smart Energy Finances: Enel divests 50% of Australian renewable operations to Japanese oil and gas giant
Enel wind farm in Peru. Courtesy Enel Group.

This week’s Smart Energy Finances looks at the sale of some of Enel Group’s operations in Australia to Japan-based Inpex as it continues to alleviate its consolidated net debt.

Also on the radar is capital commitments for a Danish renewables fund held by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, which they claim place it on track to being the biggest of its kind globally, as well as the EIB’s raised support package to REPowerEU of up to €45 billion.

Enel sells part of Australian operations

Italian green energy major Enel, acting through its fully-owned subsidiary Enel Green Power (EGP), has signed an agreement with Japan-based INPEX Corporation, for the sale of 50% of the Group’s activities in Australia, namely Enel Green Power Australia and Enel Green Power Australia Trust.

The sale of the two entities, which are currently wholly owned by EGP, went for approximately €400 million ($449 million) enterprise value, €140 million ($157.2 million) of which is in debt.

Upon closing, EGP and INPEX are expected to jointly control EGPA, overseeing the company’s renewable generation portfolio and continuing to develop its project pipeline of wind, solar, storage and hybrid projects.

The overall transaction is expected to generate a positive impact of €87 million ($97.7 million) on the 2023 Group’s ordinary and reported EBITDA.

Moreover, the deal is expected to generate a positive effect on the Group’s consolidated net debt of approximately €145 million ($162.8 million).

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The sale marks the latest from the Enel Group to consolidate its debt: October 2022 saw the Group divest 50% stake in US-based Gridspertise and launch a set of sustainability-linked bonds worth €4.1 billion ($4 billion); March this year saw them sell all equity stakes in its Romanian operations to Greece’s Public Power Corporation.

EGPA operates 3 plants totalling 310MW of installed gross capacity powered by solar as well as one 76MW wind project under construction and one 93MW solar project in execution.

EGPA is also developing a significant portfolio of wind, solar, storage and hybrid projects across Australia.

The sale marks a continued entry into the renewables scene for Inpex, a Tokyo headquartered oil and gas giant – the largest exploration and production company in Japan –  that has recently announced clean hydrogen and ammonia projects, which they claim as a first for Japan.

€5.6 billion for Copenhagen Infrastructure’s fifth fund

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has reached first close on its fifth flagship fund – Copenhagen Infrastructure V (CI V) – at €5.6 billion ($6.3 billion) in capital commitments received.

According to the Danish CIP, which specialises in renewable infrastructure investments  – the commitment place CI V on path to reach its target of €12 billion ($13.4 billion), becoming what the company claims the “world’s largest dedicated greenfield renewable energy fund” they state in a press release.

A large group of institutional investors across continental Europe, the Nordics, the UK, North America and the Asia-Pacific region participated in the first close of CI V.

The investment strategy, states CIP, is a continuation of CIP’s predecessor flagship funds CI I, CI II, CI III, and CI IV, applying a repeated approach where projects are entered early and de-risked and optimised prior to the start of construction to capture an attractive greenfield premium.

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The fund will focus on greenfield investments – a form of foreign direct investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operations from the ground up.

CPI’s fund will focus on such investments specifically within large-scale renewable energy infrastructure.

According to CIP, the fund has a global reach and intends to diversify investments across technologies such as offshore & onshore wind, energy storage and solar in low-risk OECD countries in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.

At this first close, the Fund has ownership of more than 40 renewable energy infrastructure projects with a total potential commitment of approximately €20 billion ($22.4 billion), corresponding to more than 150% of the target fund size.

#ICYMI: EIB boosts REPowerEU support package to €45 billion

The EIB’s Board of Directors has decided to raise the additional funds earmarked for projects aligned with REPowerEU – a plan designed to end Europe’s dependence on fossil-fuel imports – from the initial €30 billion ($33.5 billion) package announced in October 2022 to €45 billion ($50.2 billion).

The decision was made at the EIB Group’s July meeting in Luxembourg.

The new funding marks a fresh record for the Group, expanding its support to the build-up of manufacturing capacity for strategic net-zero technologies and products.

Projects eligible for financing include renewables, energy storage, grids and energy efficiency, as well as electric vehicle charging infrastructure – Read more.

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Yusuf Latief
Smart Energy International

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