Actis launches Brazil-focused wind platform with acquisition

Echoenergia, the firm’s fifth energy platform in Latin America, is a follow-on to a previous venture focused on wind assets in Brazil.

Emerging markets specialist Actis has created a special purpose vehicle for the development and operation of wind projects in Brazil, seeding the platform with the acquisition of two projects generating 346MW.

Investing through its fourth energy fund, which closed in March on $2.75 billion, Actis purchased a 100 percent interest in two projects in north-east Brazil to launch its Echoenergia platform. Actis did not disclose how much it paid for the projects but said they have 20-year power-purchase agreements.

Echoenergia is the London-based firm's fifth energy platform in Latin America. Sergio Brandao, a Sao Paulo-based director for Actis, said the aim is for the new platform to build off Atlantic Energias Reovaveis, a Brazil-focused vehicle that currently holds 652MW of wind and small-scale hydroelectric projects. Brandao said Atlantic's portfolio is fully financed and about 30 percent is in construction.

“We have learned through our experience with Atlantic that focus is absolutely essential for success because you acquire a number of skills by repeating them over and over,” Brandao explained. “When we came up with the concept of creating a Brazilian wind-only platform, we knew exactly where we were treading.”

Actis Energy Fund 4 has now pledged 60 percent of its capital to projects in Africa and Latin America, Brandao said. He added the firm's third energy fund is 60-65 percent invested.

In March, Actis launched another new platform in Latin America targeting solar projects. It seeded the platform, Atlas Renewable Energy, with 578MW of operating assets and 1GW of early-stage projects in development from bankrupt US developer SunEdison.