British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance has snapped up a majority stake in Australian renewable energy firm Zen Energy as it looks to increase electricity supply for its Arrium steel business.
GFG agreed to buy a 50.1 per cent stake in Zen, which has focused on solar power and battery storage for homes and small businesses.
The group last month acquired Arrium, Australia's largest integrated steel and mining business, and now it said it has taken a major step towards realising its ambitions of investing in large-scale power projects to meet its own industrial requirements and support the domestic economy.
Zen works closely with some of Australia's largest energy users to reduce costs, increase reliability and increase the amount of low-emissions energy used in industry.
The new name for the joint venture will be Simec Zen Energy and it will work with GFG's Simec Energy to improve energy security and reduce the cost of power for GFG and other businesses in Australia.
Simec Energy’s existing global energy team which already has 600 megawatts (MW) of power generating assets in the UK with another 400 MW under development, ranging from solid biomass and liquid bio fuels, to hydro and tidal, to wind and solar, and also cutting-edge waste-to-energy projects.
The joint venture will develop new large scale energy projects, including solar, battery storage and pumped hydro facilities.
“The high cost of energy for Australian consumers is debilitating for the economy and a crying shame for a country so rich in resources," said Gupta, GFG Alliance’s executive chairman.
“GFG Alliance is already one of the biggest users of industrial energy in Australia. Given the issues here, it has been a priority for us to take decisive remedial steps. Combining our power expertise developed in the UK, and Zen's local knowledge in Australia, is a natural partnership."