The oil fund is making its third investment in unlisted infrastructure for renewable energy, reports Norges Bank Investment Management (Nbim) on Thursday. The fund buys a share of just under 17 percent of the German offshore wind project He Dreiht, and pays NOK 4.9 billion.
The Norwegian Oil Fund’s investment in renewable infrastructure has gone much slower than most had expected when the strategy was included in the mandate three years ago. The reason is primarily the enormous competition for projects in this industry, and especially offshore wind, which has been the fund’s main investment in the first phase. The tightening of the climate targets and the restructuring of the strategy of the major oil companies have contributed to the fact that there are more people on the hook, and that the expected return has decreased.
Until now, the Oil Fund had only made one such investment, of a scant NOK 14 billion in a Dutch offshore wind farm in 2021. This will therefore be the second. The new investment is made together by Allianz Capital Partners and Storebrand, and together they buy 49.9 percent of the wind farm in Germany. The seller is the German power company EnBW, which has developed the project. EnBW continues as part owner and operator.
The offshore wind park will have a capacity of 960 megawatts, and will be completed at the end of 2025. Then the plant will be the largest offshore wind project in Germany. The production will meet the consumption of more than 1.1 million households, writes Nbim.
ONE IN A MILLION
When former oil fund manager Yngve Slyngstad launched his latest strategic plan for the fund in 2020, the goal was that renewable infrastructure should make up one percent of the fund by the end of 2022. The facet is therefore completely different, with approximately one per thousand. In the mandate, the limit is set at two percent of the fund for this asset class.
In his latest strategic plan, his successor Nicolai Tangen allows the fund to expand its investments in renewable infrastructure. The fund will now consider both batteries and power grids, given that the projects are large enough, and investments in other infrastructure funds. These possibilities have been included in the mandate, but little has been mentioned so far.