LS Power launches new energy company

Funded by an affiliate of the US firm, LifeEnergy will be led by the former CEO of GDF Suez Energy in North America.

LS Power Group, a New York-headquartered energy company, has teamed up with power industry veteran Zin Smati to launch a new energy company that will provide electricity, gas, mobile LNG, solar and distributed generation to customers in the US initially, then expanding into Canada and Mexico.

Based in Houston, Life Energy will be funded by an LS Power affiliate and managed by Smati, who most recently and for the past 10 years has served as president and chief executive of GDF Suez Energy North America.

“The North American energy industry is in a state of transition,” Smati said in a statement on Thursday. “There is a tremendous opportunity in the marketplace to build a nationally branded and scalable energy company focused on delivering a variety of products and services for both residential and business customers.”

In addition to heading GDF Suez Energy’s North American business, Smati’s career, which according to his LinkedIn profile started in 1992, has included serving as president and chief executive of GDF Suez Energy Resources (Engie), where he led all of GDF's business in the US, Canada and Mexico. That led him to work on power generation, LNG and gas distribution as well as midstream, marketing, trading and retail energy.

Before Engie, Smati was president and chief executive of BP Amoco Global Power, where he led all power generation activities worldwide.

LS Power did not provide further details regarding the rest of LifeEnergy’s team, other than to say that it is in the process of building one as well as assessing potential acquisitions.

Founded in 1990, the firm is a fully integrated development, investment and asset management group of companies focused on the power industry. Since its inception, it has developed, constructed, managed or acquired more than 30,000MW of power generation and over 500 miles of transmission infrastructure for which it has raised more than $30 billion in debt and equity financing.