Investors back merger of Nordic wind developers

An investment group including the Norwegian government and Swedish pension funds have supported the creation of Havgul Nordic.

Havgul Nordic is claiming to be the “first pan-Nordic onshore and offshore wind farm developer”, having been created by the merger of Norway’s Havgul Clean Energy and Sweden’s Triventus Wind Power.

The entity, which has 1,554 megawatts (MW) of wind energy under development, is backed by: Sustainable Technologies Fund, a Stockholm-based private equity growth fund; Investinor, an investment company funded by the Norwegian government; the Swedish National Pension Funds; Sweden’s Kapan Pension Fund; and the Heinz family.

A statement said that the new firm was looking to raise €11 million of equity in order to fund its project pipeline, although this will be funded by existing investors if required.

Havgul Nordic’s projects range from small, unpermitted sites to large-scale, fully permitted sites such as the 350MW Havsul 1 Offshore and 200MW Tonstad wind farm as well as three sites in the emerging Finnish feed-in tariff (FIT)-based market.

Overall, the firm’s portfolio comprises seven sites in Sweden (totalling 504MW), five in Norway (865MW) and three in Finland (185MW).

The statement said that the merger would reduce overall development costs while allowing for knowledge sharing and greater economies of scale during the development and EPC [engineering, procurement, construction] phases.

“We are aiming to establish one of the lowest cost and highest return wind developers in the Nordics,” said Harald Dirdal, chief executive officer of Havgul Nordic, in the statement. “The Norwegian and Swedish governments have recently increased their renewable energy targets and we expect to be well positioned to exploit this highly positive regulatory driver in the years ahead.”

Since 2012, Norway and Sweden have operated a single renewable energy market but differing tax regimes put Norway at a disadvantage in attracting investment. However, in February the Norwegian government introduced tax depreciation rules to enhance returns – a move which the statement says is “expected to lead to new interest in the Norwegian wind sector”.