Aquila in Norwegian hydro deal

The Hamburg-based fund manager has acquired the country’s second-largest operator of small-scale hydropower plants.

Aquila Capital, the German alternative assets manager, has acquired Norsk Gronnkraft, Norway’s second-largest operator of small-scale hydropower plants, for an undisclosed sum on behalf of Dutch pension fund ABP and German insurance companies.

Norsk Gronnkraft, which operates 33 plants in central and southern Norway, has been bought from energy firms Akershus Energi, Energielskapet Buskerud, E-CO Energi and Ostfold Energi.

The plants generate around 210 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year and the average age of the facilities is eight years.

A statement said that Aquila had formed a bilateral agreement with NGK Construction, Norsk Gronnkraft’s former sister company, through which it is looking to add further generating facilities to its Norwegian hydropower platform.

In the statement, Aquila co-head of hydropower, Oldrik Verloop, said the firm was aiming to increase its production volume in Norway to more than 1,000GWh over the next five years.

The latest deal is the third made by Aquila on behalf of its clients in Norwegian hydro.

In July last year it acquired 33 percent of Tinfos, an operator of two large-scale and nine small-scale run-of-river facilities, in a partnership with ABP’s investment manager APG.

In June 2011, funds advised by Aquila bought 33 percent of Jorpeland Kraft, an operator of two run-of-river installations in the Stavanger region in the west of the country.

The Norsk Gronnkraft deal is the second involving the hydropower infrastructure partnership that was formed between Aquila and ABP six months ago. ABP committed €250 million of equity to the venture.