GFG Alliance's Simec bags Scottish hydropower company Green Highland Renewables in green energy push

Francesca Washtell
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Winter Scenes In Glen Coe
The Scottish acquisition includes several hydro facilities in the Highlands (Source: Getty)

GFG Alliance's energy unit Simec has ramped up its green power push with an agreement to buy hydropower specialist Green Highland Renewables (GHR) from Ancala Partners.

Simec Energy will acquire 18 hydro-electric power stations in the Scottish Highlands as well as 17 engineers, operators and designers.

The deal, announced today, will complete by February. The value was not disclosed but was estimated by industry sources to be in the region of £75m.

Read more: GFG Alliance plots green energy push with tie-up and Highlands hydropower

The takeover of GHR feeds in to GFG’s larger aim to build one gigawatt of renewable power generation capacity in the UK within the next three years, which will primarily be used to power the operations of GFG’s steel and engineering company Liberty House. The industrial arm is planning to develop 5m tonnes of low-carbon steel production in the UK within five years.

Liberty gained attention last year when it became a frontrunning bidder for Tata Steel’s UK operations. GFG is executive chaired by industrialist Sanjeev Gupta.

In addition to the 18 existing power stations in GHR, Simec also said today it will develop a further eight hydropower plants on its Lochaber Highland estate lands. The planning process is due to start in 2018.

Jay Hambro, GFG Alliance’s chief investment officer, said: “Hydro is a crucial element of our renewable strategy and GHR is a world leader in developing and operating this technology.”

Read more: GFG Alliance buys renewable firm to power its Australian steel business

GHR started in 2007 and has delivered more than 45 hydropower schemes internationally, many of which it continues to operate and maintain.

Minister for climate change and industry, Claire Perry said: “Through our modern Industrial Strategy, the government has set out a clear plan for reducing carbon emissions while driving economic growth. I am pleased that the GFG Alliance are developing their renewable power assets and building clean growth in their organisation.”

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