Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance announces flagship hydro deal and target for one gigawatt of green power generation

Media release > 5th December, 2017
Lochaber Smelter

SIMEC Energy, part of the global GFG Alliance has taken another major step towards becoming the UK’s largest provider of renewable energy by entering into an unconditional agreement to acquire Green Highland Renewables (“GHR”), one of the country’s most prominent ‘‘green power’’ developers and generators from Ancala Partners.

SIMEC Energy also announced today (Tuesday 5th December) its plans to build a total of one gigawatt of renewable power generation capacity in the UK within three years, supporting fellow GFG company Liberty Steel’s ambitious target to develop five million tonnes of low-carbon ‘‘GREENSTEEL’’ production in the UK within five years. Both objectives support the UK Government’s ‘‘clean growth’’ vision which is a key part of the newly-launched Industrial Strategy.

The acquisition of GHR will complete by the end of February 2018.

The purchase of GHR from Ancala Partners includes 18 hydro-electric power stations in the Scottish Highlands and a highly-regarded team of 17 engineers, operators and designers. GHR has a global track record of providing an end-to-end delivery of hydro-power schemes, ranging from initial planning through to building and operating projects of all sizes and complexities.

In addition to the 18 existing power stations in GHR, SIMEC said today it will develop a further eight hydro power plants on its Lochaber Highland estate lands, with the planning process due to start in 2018. SIMEC is already one of the UK’’s largest hydro power operators, including in its portfolio the Lochaber and Kinlochleven stations with a total capacity of over 100 megawatts.

GHR started in 2007 and its teams based in Perth and Dingwall have built a strong reputation for engineering expertise and close working with local communities living around hydro projects. To date the company has delivered over 45 hydro schemes internationally, many of which it continues to operate and maintain.

Jay Hambro, GFG Alliance chief investment officer and chief executive of SIMEC Energy said: “We are rising to the challenge of delivering one gigawatt green energy capacity to power UK industrial growth. That will double the size of SIMEC’’s existing portfolio. We are already one of the UK’’s largest producers of hydro power and, with this transaction, we will expand our hydro capacity even further.

“We are delighted to welcome the excellent Green Highland Renewables team to the GFG family. They enjoy an enviable track record in building and operating hydro power assets. Hydro is a crucial element of our renewable energy strategy and GHR is a world leader in developing and operating this technology. Whether building new assets in Scotland or helping our initiatives in Australia, they will provide the expertise and resource we need in hydro power.”

Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG added “We are delighted to have agreed this deal at the same time as the publication of the UK Government’s white paper on industrial strategy because we intend to be a standard bearer for ‘clean growth’’ in the economy. That link between energy and industry has been at the heart of our own low-carbon GREENSTEEL strategy for years and we are greatly encouraged to see public policy moving in the same direction.”

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.”

SIMEC is also currently consulting with local communities in the Highlands on a plan for a £170m wind farm at Glenshero which is designed to generate 164 MW of power. This project will be Britain’s first large scale subsidy free wind farm. A planning application for this development is due to be submitted in Spring 2018.


Eoghan Mortell

+44 7977 555 116

Jo Tanner (iNHouse Communications)

+ 44 207 240 7338

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