Statkraft, Norfund restructuring emphasizes hydroelectric power development

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Utility company Statkraft and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) have signed an agreement expressing the group's intention to restructure and prolong their cooperation within renewable energy -- particularly as it pertains to hydroelectric power.

Per information provided by Statkraft, "the aim is to create a leading international hydropower cluster, based on assets from Statkraft, SN Power and Agua Imara."

The agreement postpones Norfund's option to sell its share in SN Power to Statkraft from Q4 2013 to Q2 2014, with final and binding agreements to come by the end of Q4 2013.

The main elements in the framework for future ownership structure and cooperation are:

  • Statkraft will own 67% and Norfund 33% of SN Power's existing portfolio in South Asia and South America, which will be operationally integrated with Statkraft's portfolio in Southeast Europe;
  • A new company called SN Power will be created, consisting of SN Power's existing portfolio in Southeast Asia and Agua Imara's portfolio in Africa and Central America, forming three separate regions within the company;
  • Regional Norweigian power companies BBK and TronderEnergi will be invited to participate with ownership interests in SN Power and consent to the proposed structure. The intention of the parties is also to invite one or two financial investors into the company at a later stage, with the thought that Statkraft and Norfund will thereafter own aaround 40% each of SN Power. Remaining shares will be held by BBK, TronderEnergi and new financial investors;
  • A separate project and construction unit will be established within Statkraft International Hydropower, which will be a preferred supplier of project and construction execution services to all international hydropower projects within Statkraft and SN Power.

"Statkraft's ambition is to become a leading international company within hydropower," company CEO Christian Rynning-Tonnesen said. "A final agreement with Norfund will further strengthen our industrial role and take advantage of the competence within the Statkraft group."

The agreement also replaces SN Power's current put option program for Norfund stakes with a revised put/call option program for 2017 and onwards. Previously, Norfund had options to sell its shares in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

"This agreement confirms the long-term strategic cooperation between Norfund and Statkraft, BBK and TronderEnergi to harness and develop hydropower resources in developing countries," Norfund managing director Kjell Roland said. "The new platform for cooperation will scale up our efforts, benefitting the global fight against climate change as well as the fight against poverty."

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