A portrait of a foreign investor in Ukrainian renewable energy: analysis by IMEPOWER

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Yuri Kubrushko, Managing Partner and Viktor Koval, consultant at IMEPOWER in an article for Energy Reform noted that Ukraine underestimated the role of foreign investors in renewable energy, and spoke in detail about the largest RES projects with foreign investments.

Over the past years, certain politicians and journalists have presented the Ukrainian green energy as a sphere in which exclusively oligarchs and individuals who are affiliated with various officials operate. At the same time, the fact that over the past years numerous foreign investors have come to this sector has been stubbornly ignored.

According to our estimates, as of the summer of 2020, the share of foreign investors in the installed capacity of renewable energy plants will be more than 30%, which will almost double the share of DTEK, and the size of the corresponding investments will reach EUR 2.5 billion.

At the same time, most foreign investors launched their first stations in Ukraine in 2019 or are still building them, which is why they are little known outside the renewable energy sector. Below we provide a summary of the largest foreign investors working in the renewable energy sector of Ukraine.

Wind Power

Vindkraft Group

Vindkraft is one of the largest investors in the wind energy projects in Ukraine. The company was founded in 2009 by Swedish investors Karl Sturen and Johan Boden, who are also known as the founders of Chumak, one of the largest food producers in Ukraine.

At the moment, the company owns operating wind farms in Kherson region with a total capacity of 335 MW, while the first wind turbine was installed back in 2011.

The company plans to build two more wind farms with a capacity of 300 MW each.

NBT and Total Eren

NBT is a Norwegian company that designs, operates and owns wind farms in emerging economies. Its shareholders are mainly Norwegian family businesses and industrial enterprises. Currently, NBT operates three 150 MW wind farms in China.

The company has been operating in Ukraine since 2013. In 2017, NBT acquired Syvashenergoprom, which operates a small wind farm in Kherson. Subsequently, NBT developed a construction project for the Syvash Wind Farm with a capacity of 250 MW, and also attracted debt financing in the amount of EUR 262 million from EBRD, Proparco, Green for Growth Fund, Finnfund, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, IFU, FMO and NEFCO.

The total investment in the project is EUR 376 million.

NBT's partner in the Syvash Wind Farm project is Total Eren, a subsidiary of the French oil company Total. Total Eren currently owns 2,700 MW of renewable energy plants around the world that are already in operation or under construction.

Since 2019, NBT has been developing another project - the Zophia Wind Farm with a capacity of 793 MW in the Zaporizhzhya region. It is assumed that the investment in this project will exceed EUR 1 billion, for which the company plans to attract EUR 500 million of financing from the Chinese ICBC, Export-Import and Construction Banks of China.

LongWing Energy, VLC Renewables and GE Capital

Longwing Energy is a Luxembourg-based company that owns a portfolio of 1.3 GW wind and solar energy projects in France, Poland and Ukraine.

In Ukraine, Longwing, together with the European fund VLC Renewables, are implementing a project to build a Zaporizhzhya wind farm with an installed capacity of 500 MW. The total investment for this project is estimated at EUR 800 million.

VLC Renewables was created as a partnership between the investment company Low Carbon and one of the world's largest energy companies Vitol.

In mid-2019, a financial closure of a $ 150 million debt financing package was carried out for the first stage of the project with a capacity of 98 MW. At the same time, DFC (US International Development Finance Corporation), formerly known as OPIC, which also issued political risk insurance for the project.

The co-investor in the construction of the first phase of the wind farm is GE Capital, a financial services division of General Electric, an American diversified corporation and a world leader in mechanical engineering.

Ukraine Power Resources

American company Ukraine Power Resources (UPR) currently owns projects for the construction of the Dniester wind farm with a capacity of 100 MW and Liman wind farm with a capacity of 122 MW. The main investor in the construction project is VR Capital, an American investment fund specializing in investments in emerging markets.

One of the founders of UPR is Peter Guiche, who has accounted for more than 2.1 GW of completed wind farm construction projects in the USA, Italy, China, the Philippines, Tunisia and Morocco.

Guris

Guris is one of the leaders in the development of renewable energy in Turkey. The portfolio of completed projects includes about 900 MW of geothermal, wind and hydroelectric power.

In Ukraine, Guris launched the first phase of a wind power plant in the Odesa region with a capacity of 33 MW.

In addition, the company is developing a portfolio of new projects for the construction of a wind farm with a capacity of 188 MW.

GreenWorx and Akuo Energy

Belgian Greenworx Holding and the French Akuo Energy are developing a construction project of the Dnieper-Buzh wind farm with a capacity of 110 MW in Kherson region. The cost of the project, according to the EBRD, is EUR 189 million. The EBRD Board approved lending to the project in the summer of 2019.

Greenworx Holding is a subsidiary of Saffelberg Investments, an investment company managing an investment fund with assets of EUR 250 million.

Akuo Energy owns renewable energy power plants with a total capacity of 1,182 MW and owns a portfolio of renewable energy projects in various countries of the world with a capacity of more than 3,000 MW.

Ukr Wind Investment Limited

The company is implementing a project of the South Ukrainian Wind Power Plant with a capacity of 300 MW in the Mykolaiv region. The project cost is EUR 450 million.

The company's shareholders are David Lewis (Great Britain), Hodson Thornber (Great Britain / USA), Lev Dulnev (USA), as well as their family members and partners. Hodson Thornber was Managing Director of Renaissance Partners, a division of the Renaissance Group, in the 2000s, and was responsible for investments in the energy and agricultural sectors. 

Solar Power

VR Capital

The company, founded in 1998 by American Richard Deitz, manages investment funds, the assets of one of which (VR Global Partners) amounted to $ 4.4 billion at the end of 2017. At the moment, the company owns solar stations with a total capacity of 536 MW.

Scatec Solar

Norwegian company Scatec Solar is a global player in the renewable energy market, with assets located in 11 countries. At the moment, the company operates 850 MW of power plants operating on renewable energy sources, another 1 GW is under construction.

The company entered the Ukrainian market in 2017. To date, Scatec has launched several solar power plants with a total capacity of 188 MW, investing EUR 194 million.

In addition, in the construction phase is 148 MW SES Progresovka, investments in which are planned at the level of EUR 124 million.

To implement the portfolio of projects Scatec Solar attracted financing from the EBRD, BSTD, FMO and other financial organizations. Scatec is a public company, one of the largest shareholders of which is the large Norwegian energy company Equinor.

CNBM

CNBM is one of China's largest state-owned corporations, with an annual turnover of $ 52.6 billion in 2019, which allows it to be included in the top 500 Fortune Global ratings. The company specializes in the production of building materials, equipment for renewable energy, is engaged in trade in coal, steel and other products.

In Ukraine, the company owns 10 solar stations with a total capacity of more than 300 MW in Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

Previously, these facilities belonged to the Activ Solar company of the brothers Andriy and Sergiy Klyuyev, but after its bankruptcy in 2016, the ownership of the station passed to CNBM, which at that time was the main lender.

Acciona Energia

Acciona Energia is one of the largest developers and operators of renewable energy projects in the world. The Spanish company owns more than 10 GW of capacities based on various technologies. The annual turnover for 2019 amounted to EUR 7.2 billion.

Acciona entered Ukraine with the implementation of a 57.6 MW project in the Kyiv region, in which it invested EUR 55 million.

The company also completed the construction of two other solar power plants with a total capacity of 44 MW in the Odesa region. All stations of the company were commissioned in 2019.

TIU Canada / Refraction

TIU Canada, owned by Refraction Asset Management Ltd, a Canadian investment company, began operating in Ukraine in 2017. The company owns solar stations in the Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions with a total capacity of 55 MW.

EMSOLT

EMSOLT is a Turkish investment firm investing in the alternative energy sector. In Ukraine, the company commissioned two stations in Zhytomyr and Khmelnitsky regions with a total capacity of 22 MW. In addition,currently projects with a total capacity of 40 MW are under construction.

GS Engineering and Construction

Korean GS Engineering and Construction is the management company of many energy enterprises. The company is part of the GS Group, which in 2005 separated from the largest concern for the production of machinery LG. GS Group revenue in 2019 exceeded $ 14 billion.

In Ukraine, the company built two solar stations in the Zakarpattya region with a capacity of 24 MW, which began to generate electricity in March 2020.

Upgrade Energy

Belgian company Upgrade Energy has built a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 24 MW (Irshanska SES) in Zhytomyr region.

The project was funded by the EBRD as part of the USELF alternative energy financing program in Ukraine.

Norsk Solar

Norwegian company Norsk Solar together with partners owns a 9 MW solar station located near Kyiv. The project cost is estimated at EUR 8.7 million. The construction of the station was financed with the participation of NEFCO, which provided a loan of EUR 4.35 million.

Norsk Solar is part of the Valinor Group, Norway's largest privately owned wind power company. In total, the group has implemented more than 860 MW of renewable energy projects. In turn, the Ukrainian project for Norsk Solar is the second project in the field of solar energy - the company also carried out the construction of a 50 MW solar power plant in Pakistan.

Better Energy

Better Energy is a Danish solar energy development company involved in the design and construction of solar parks in Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine. In Ukraine, the company owns a Ganska SES with a capacity of 19 MW in the Zhytomyr region. The total investment in construction is estimated at around EUR 19 million, of which NEFCO finances about 32% in loans, while Better Energy and the Danish State Fund IFU contribute the remainder as project owners.