SL Capital Partners buy Norwegian hydro plants

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The private equity arm of Standard Life Investments (SLI) is eyeing more deals in the renewable power arena after buying a portfolio of hydro plants in Norway.

Edinburgh-based SL Capital Partners, which manages about £6.6 billion in private equity assets across Europe and North America, is to buy Nordic Power through its infrastructure fund.

The deal marks the second in little more than a week for the fund, following its purchase of a gas network operation in Finland.

Under the agreement with Norwegian utility Nordkraft, 
SL Capital will buy Nordic Power, operator of 13 small-scale hydro energy plants that generate a total of 58 megawatts. In return, Nordkraft will manage, operate and maintain the plants and will seek to sell further ­assets that are close to being commissioned.

Nordkraft chief Eirik Frantzen said the tie-up was “rather new” in the hydro market, but “in other sectors such as oil and gas and real estate, this type of ­arrangement has worked very successfully over long periods”.

Dominic Helmsley, managing director of infrastructure at 
SL Capital, said: “Small hydro power is a growth area of the market across Europe and we will pur­­sue scale through additional purchases in the sector.”