Swedish developer pushes into Australian solar with Esco Pacific purchase


Swedish renewables heavyweight OX2 has confirmed its purchase of solar-focused developer and asset manager Esco Pacific, saying it intends to accelerate the development of the Australian company’s large-scale solar projects while also exploring new wind and hydrogen opportunities.

“OX2 has identified considerable potential for value creation in Esco Pacific through extension of the product offering from sale of project rights to the sale of turnkey solutions at construction start,” the company said in a statement.

OX2 plans to scale up operations through acquisitions in solar and energy storage and has the ambition to expand operations to onshore wind while exploring offshore wind and hydrogen.”

Currently owned by international energy major Shell, founder and Managing Director Steve Rademaker and private investors, Esco has already delivered more than 800 MW of large-scale projects since its inception in 2015.

The Melbourne-based company also has a project development portfolio of approximately 1.4 GW across the National Electricity Market (NEM), comprising 1,220 MW solar and 200 MW of energy storage, and is the asset manager for a 530 MW portfolio of operational utility-scale solar projects.

Rademaker, who has agreed to stay with the company for two years, initially as managing director and thereafter as an advisor, said the deal paves the way for Esco’s continued growth.

“We have found a great buyer for ESCO Pacific,” he said. “OX2 is a strong player with excellent track record, and they will no doubt have the ability to significantly grow the footprint in Australia.”

Esco’s completed projects include the 148 MW Ross River, 75 MW Childers and 95 MW Susan River solar farms in Queensland, and the 175 MW Finley solar farm in NSW. The 140 MW Glenrowan, 110 MW Moura and 70 MW Wyalong are currently under construction while the 110 MW Rollingstone, 85 MW Dingo, 60 MW Mirani, 55 MW Koberinga, 80 MW Mulwala, 100 MW Sandigo, 100 MW Lancaster, 90 MW Summerville, and 135 MW Muswellbrook solar farms are under development.

OX2 Chief Executive Officer Paul Stormoen said the transaction aligns with the Swedish company’s expansion strategy which includes a focus on “markets with a significant share of fossil energy and clear needs and opportunities to increase the proportion of renewable energy.”

“I am very happy to announce our entry into the Australian market and to welcome an experienced local team to OX2,” he said. “Through this transaction, we get an attractive development portfolio in a growing renewables market, while also significantly strengthening our capabilities within solar and energy storage.”

“This gives us a solid foundation for profitable expansion in Australia.”

Founded in 2004, Stockholm-headquartered OX2 is a leading player in the European renewables space with a project development portfolio of more than 28 GW, including a construction portfolio in excess of 1.3 GW with a strong focus on wind energy.

Its acquisition of Esco is priced at $126 million. In addition, there is a contingent consideration amounting to up to $17 million to the founder based on sales and margins in 2025-2027 from the acquired project development portfolio.

The transaction remains subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions but OX2 said it expects the deal will be finalised by the end of April.

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