December 15, 2017 / 7:52 AM / 10 months ago

Votorantim Energia, Canada pension board form JV to invest in power

(Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Brazil’s Votorantim Group’s energy unit Votorantim Energia have formed a joint venture that will buy two operational wind parks in northeastern Brazil, they said.

The wind parks will have a combined generation capacity of 565 megawatts, they said in a joint statement.

Canada’s biggest public pension plan will be initially contributing C$272 million ($213 million) in equity, according to the statement.

The joint venture sees an investment of more 3 billion reals ($897.72 million) in Brazil’s power generation sector and will pursue further acquisitions in Brazil.

Reuters reported in October Votorantim SA’s energy unit was in talks with global pension and sovereign wealth funds to create an integrated wind, solar and small-scale hydropower electricity joint venture in Brazil.

Votorantim Energia had earlier discussed about plans of a joint venture with Singapore’s GIC Pte Ltd [GIC.UL] and several North American pension funds.

The Votorantim conglomerate has doubled down on energy for diversification from core metals, cement, pulp and steel making. Clean energy projects often provide stable revenue and cash flow streams - generally a goal pursued by pension and sovereign wealth firms alike.

Brazil’s power grid is highly dependent on renewable energy with the role of solar energy growing in recent times.

Years of harsher-than-expected droughts are pushing the government and investors to rethink the country’s dependence on hydropower while accelerating a replacement of fossil fuels.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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