EGP moves ahead with sale of Australian assets


Elliott Green Power Australia (EGP) has offered no official comment on the sales process but a company insider said bids are now being accepted with 100% of the renewable energy developer’s Australian assets, including the flagship 105 MW Nevertire Solar Farm in north-west New South Wales (NSW), to be sold.

EGP, a subsidiary of United States-based hedge funds manager Elliott Investment Management, has appointed Perth-based advisory firm Azure Capital and Bank of America to oversee the sale of its solar PV and battery energy storage assets. The price for the portfolio is expected to be about $600 million.

While the company remained tight lipped about the sales process, Fairfax media this week reported Azure and Bank of America have already approached potential buyers, indicating a deal could be signed towards the end of the year.

Included in EGP’s solar PV portfolio are the 56 MW Childers and the 75 MW Susan River solar farm in southeast Queensland. It is also progressing development of 125 MW/250 MWh of battery storage across its Australian solar PV assets.

EGP’s expected exit from the Australian market comes as New Zealand-based energy generator and retailer Meridian continues to explore the possible sale of its Australian operations.

Meridian plans to develop 20 MW battery storage system alongside the Hume hydro power station.

Image: Meridian

Investment bank Lazard has gone to prospective clients to gauge interest with first-round bids due later this month. Australian oil refiner and petrol-station operator Ampol is said to be among the possible suitors.

Meridian flagged the possible sale of its Australian assets when it released its annual results last month, highlighting headwinds in the market, not helped by Australia’s regulatory and policy environment.

“Whilst our customer growth over recent years has been steady and we now have almost 200,000 customers, the current market conditions are challenging and the business is not achieving the targets we have set,” it said.

Meridian owns and operates 300 MW of renewable energy assets in Australia, including wind farms and hydro assets. Another 108 MW is under development and works are also underway on the 20 MW/40 MWh Hume Battery Storage System near Albury, NSW.

The company also operates the retail brand Powershop in Australia, which supplies 180,000 customers with electricity and gas.

The sales come amid a flurry of activity in the Australian renewable energy market, including electricity network owner Spark Infrastructure accepting a $5.2 billion takeover bid from a North American consortium led by private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

New Energy Solar has sold its Australian assets, including the Manildra solar farm.

Image: NEW

That deal follows New Energy Solar selling its two Australian solar farms to Thailand-based company Banpu Australia for $288.5 million and Powering Australian Renewables Fund’s (PowAR) $2.7 billion purchase of Tilt Renewables.

The United Kingdom-based John Laing has sold its Australian wind farm portfolio and is expected to look to offload its two solar assets – the 175 MW Finley and 225 MW Sunraysia solar farms – next year.

Another portfolio could soon be on the block with U.S. private equity fund Denham Capital looking to offload its Australian solar PV assets.

Denham Capital, which owns 95% of Nexif Energy, has reportedly hired U.S. investment banking giant JPMorgan to oversee the sale of its renewable energy assets in the APAC, among them the soon-to-be-completed 464 MW Lincoln Gap Wind Farm in South Australia.

Saudi-owned renewable energy developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) is also rumoured to be seeking a buyer for a part share in its Australian solar farm portfolio which includes the 300 MW Walla Walla Solar Farm in Victoria.

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