Equinor has settled an agreement with Denham Capital to acquire Rio Energy, a leading onshore renewable fuels company in Brazil.
The deal is in line with Equinor’s strategy to grow its onshore renewables business in select markets, through acquisition of local companies with high-quality teams and project pipelines.
Following the transaction, Equinor will hold a 100% stake in Rio Energy and retain the current management team and a total of about 140 employees. The acquired portfolio consists of the 0.2 GW Serra da Babilonia 1 onshore wind farm in the north-eastern state of Bahia, a 0.6 GW pre-construction solar PV portfolio and a project pipeline of about 1.2 GW of onshore wind and solar projects.
‘Through Rio Energy, Equinor will take a leading position in the rapidly growing Brazilian renewables industry. It accelerates production and cash flow, gives us a strong platform for growth, and adds capabilities and an attractive project pipeline,’ says Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president for renewables.
‘Having Rio Energy onboard will strengthen Equinor’s ability to further develop the portfolio and reinforce our position as a broad energy company in Brazil. By building an attractive renewables position in the country, together with a robust oil and gas portfolio, we are supporting Brazil’s ambitions towards a diverse energy mix,’ says Veronica Coelho, country manager for Equinor in Brazil.
The acquired project portfolio is anticipated to deliver at the high end of Equinor’s expected range of 4-8% real base project return for renewables projects, including acquisition price.
The produced power is planned to be managed in the Brazilian power market by Equinor’s wholly owned energy trading house Danske Commodities (DC). DC recently established a trading office in São Paulo to support Equinor’s activity in the country.
‘Brazil is the largest power market in South America, with expected demand growth and fast expansion of the deregulated market. By building a power portfolio in Brazil managed by DC, we can enable value uplift in line with our market-driven power producer strategy,’ says Olav Kolbeinstveit, Equinor’s senior vice president for onshore and markets within renewables.
The transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.