Aquila Capital to take over Norwegian hydro firm Smakraft

European alternative asset manager Aquila Capital has won the bid to take over hydropower developer and operator Småkraft in Norway.

Four Norwegian utilities, including Statkraft (40%), Agder Energi (20%), BKK (20%) and Skagerak Energi (20%), are the owners for Småkraft, which has an average annual generation capacity of over 500GWh.

The firm presently operates 45 hydropower stations, along with 15 projects under construction and more than 100 projects under various stages of development.

Financial details about the transaction have not been disclosed.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year and represents Aquila Capital’s third public hydro deal within 18 months.

Aquila Capital CEO Roman Rosslenbroich said: “The transaction underlines Aquila Capital’s credentials as a leading financial investor in renewable energy and underpins our position as a recognised owner and operator of hydropower plants.”

Aquila Capital hydropower co-head Oldrik Verloop said: “Since 2009, we have acquired more than 100 hydro plants in Europe, giving us an edge in sourcing and securing hydropower opportunities for our institutional investors.

“As our investors aim to bring long-term capital to support the expansion of renewables in the energy mix, the acquisition of Småkraft will consolidate our operations in Norway.

“It will make us the largest operator of small-scale hydropower plants in Europe.”

The company owns small-scale hydropower firm Norsk Grønnkraft and holds 36% and 33% interests in Tinfos and Jørpeland Kraft respectively.

Statkraft board chairman Haakon Alfstad said: “Aquila Capital’s acquisition of Småkraft AS will ensure the continued growth of small scale hydro production in Norway.

“The landowners’ long-term ownership to the waterfall resources and all commercial agreements between Småkraft AS and the land owners will remain unchanged under the new ownership.”