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Aquila ups bet on Norway with new office opening

Joakim Johnsen, Statkraft’s former international hydropower adviser, will helm the firm’s business in the country with a view to building up to 10 new hydro projects each year.

German asset manager Aquila Capital has opened a new office in Oslo as it pushes ahead with plans to build on its 1TWh hydropower portfolio in Norway.

Noting strong demand for hydro in the Nordics, the firm said the move is part of its commitment both to Norway and the wider market, where it has also been active through several Swedish wind deals.

Aquila has hired Joakim Johnsen as both an investment manager in its hydropower team and the head of its Oslo outpost. Johnsen was previously at Norway’s state-owned energy firm Statkraft since 2012 where for three and a half years he helped develop the company’s Brazil-based business. The last 12 months have seen Johnsen act as head adviser on Statkraft’s international hydropower efforts.

“His wealth of experience will be invaluable as we continue our expansion in the renewable energy sector in the Nordic region,” explained Roman Rosslenbroich, chief executive of Aquila Capital. “These constitute core markets in the fields of wind energy and hydropower in which we remain committed to pursuing investment opportunities.”

Johnsen’s appointment and the move into Norway follows the merge of Småkraft and Norsk Grønnkraft, Aquila’s two Norwegian hydropower businesses, last month. Aquila said the new company, which holds 90 operating hydropower plants, will form part of its plan to be the largest operator of small-scale hydropower plants in Europe.