April 17, 2010 / 5:54 PM / 9 years ago

BP to invest £650 million plus in alt energy

LAGUNA NIGUEL, California (Reuters) - Oil major BP Plc (BP.L) plans to invest more than $1 billion (650 million pounds) this year on alternative energy development, the head of BP’s alternative energy unit said on Tuesday.

The company launched its alternative energy division in 2005 and has said it would spend $8 billion in the sector over 10 years to 2015.

Investments are moving forward faster than the company had anticipated and BP expects to pour “a billion plus” into the alternative space this year, said BP Alternative Energy Chief Executive Katrina Landis.

“We have some really attractive investment opportunities which we are pursing,” she told Reuters at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, California.

She declined to talk about specific deals.

Landis said BP spent $1.3 billion in the alternative energy sector last year, which represented some 6 percent of the company’s overall investment.

In response to whether she thought BP would grow the percentage of investment directed towards alternative energy in the future, she said the decision would depend year-to-year on the opportunities available.

“Strategically, we’re committed to bringing as many kinds of energies to the market as we can,” said Landis.

She also dismissed the possibility of BP’s alternative energy division, and units within it, spinning out or moving ahead with an initial public offering — an idea that was considered by the company a few years ago.

London-based BP is principally involved in four types of alternative technologies: wind power, solar power, carbon capture and storage and biofuels.

“We’re absolutely holding these as core businesses,” said Landis. “All four of those technology areas have the opportunity to be very sizable.”

Reporting by Dana Ford; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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