Malaysian oil giant reportedly set to buy Wirsol’s Australian portfolio


Malaysia’s state-owned oil company Petronas is finalising its acquisition of Wirsol’s Australian renewable portfolio, reports Reuters.

It would mark the fossil fuel giant’s first foray into Australian renewables, part of a larger trend in the industry as majors scramble to secure their future in energy. Petronas is already active in Australia, owning a 40% stake in Queensland’s Gladstone liquefied natural gas project, run by Santos.

One person involved in the Wirsol deal has told Reuters the sale price could be between $900 million to $1 billion.

Wirsol, a subsidiary of German energy group Wircon, owns mostly solar assets in Australia, and some battery storage. In total, the capacity of its operational portfolio sits at 746 MW, with the company saying it has a further 700 MW in its development pipeline.

Wirsol entered the Australian market in 2017 but put its Australian renewables business up for sale in 2022, after ditching plans to publicly list the business. The company has reportedly had trouble selling its solar assets, some of which sit on congested areas of the grid and have their power curtailed. 

In terms of the buyer, in 2022 Petronas formed a renewable energy arm called Gentari. The division is seeking to move into solar, and says it is aiming for a portfolio with 30 GW to 40 GW of capacity by 2030. It is not clear if the Wirsol sale is being conducted by Gentari.

Wirsol’s assets

Wirsol’s Australian assets include the 90 MW Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland and the 110 MW Wemen Solar Farm in north-western Victoria. It operates the 149 MW Glenrowan West Solar Farm, also in Victoria, on behalf of German owners Wirtgen Invest and has acquired the land rights to develop the 75-85 MW Barnawartha Solar Farm west of Wodonga in Victoria.

It also co-owns the 25 MW/50 MWh Gannawarra Energy Storage System, a retrofit to 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm in Victoria, alongside Edify Energy.

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