September 27, 2017 / 2:22 PM / a year ago

Norway's Statkraft divests renewable energy assets in four markets

OSLO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Norway’s Statkraft swapped its hydropower units in Panama, Laos, Philippines and Zambia with other renewable energy assets in South America and Asia previously co-owned by a Norwegian development fund, the two organisations said on Wednesday.

Statkraft acquired full ownership of hydropower, solar and wind assets in Peru, Brazil, Chile, India and Nepal from Norfund, part of its strategy to operate in fewer places but increase its ownership in different renewables.

“We want to focus on fewer markets and have a plan to increase wind and solar power capacity,” Statkraft spokesman Lars Magnus Gunther said.

Statkraft and Norfund co-owned all the assets through joint ventures. The swap involved an exchange of shares in the ventures and a cash payment.

Statkraft did not disclose the value of the payment, saying it would reveal that during third-quarter results on Oct. 26.

The utility is focusing in markets with a more commercial potential where it is already established, the spokesman said. “There is a difference in mandate and strategy as we are a power company and they (Norfund) are an investment fund,” he said.

Norfund, owned by the Norwegian state, invests in countries where “projects would not otherwise have been realized due to high risk and lack of capital,” spokeswoman Inger Nygaard said.

She said Norfund’s expertise was concentrated in a limited number of countries, many of them poor.

Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; Editing by Edmund Blair

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