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Irish solar firm Amarenco seals buys in Spain, Portugal

Energy firm’s acquisition trail is bankrolled by a recent €150m fundraising

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Shining example: Amarenco is investing in solar projects

Shining example: Amarenco is investing in solar projects

Shining example: Amarenco is investing in solar projects

Irish solar energy company Amarenco expects to have as much as 500MW of projects under construction or in final development in Iberia by the end of next year as it chases acquisitions deals that are transforming the scale of the business co-founded by former Bord Gáis boss John Mullins.

The company has just inked a deal to buy a 50MW solar farm in Spain that’s due to come on stream in January, while it has also acquired 148MW of projects in Portugal. The company is also in talks regarding a project in Egypt, according to Mr Mullins.

Amarenco’s acquisition trail is being bankrolled by a recent €150m fundraising. That saw European asset manager Tikehau Capital come on board for the first time, with existing investors also rowing in.

While the Cork-headquartered solar company previously disclosed that it expects to have 3GW of projects operational by 2023, it now anticipates having 30GW by 2030 and 50GW by 2050.

A joint venture Amarenco is involved in – with a unit of French energy giant Total – has also just secured a €40m revolving credit line to expand its work on the deployment of solar panels on buildings.

Mr Mullins, who is executive chairman at Amarenco, said that France dominates Amarenco’s balance sheet at the moment, but Iberia will be the company’s biggest market within 15 months.

Amarenco is also pursuing projects in Oman, Thailand, Taiwan and other countries.

“The first Portuguese portfolio is 148MW,” said Mr Mullins. “That’s going to be built by the end of next year.”

The company will also start construction of its first solar farm in Ireland next year, but it’s in foreign markets where Amarenco will benefit from scalability, said Mr Mullins.

Of the 3GW of projects Amarenco expects to have operational by 2023, the split is expected to be broadly equal between Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to Amarenco chief executive Alain Desvigne.

Mr Desvigne said Amarenco wanted a credit line to pursue M&A without having to go back to the market each time it needed capital.

“Our investments are heavily dependent on senior bank debt,” said Mr Desvigne. “When we say we’re raised €165m this year, that leads us to around €3bn of investment in the next few years.”

He said Tikehau Capital is prepared to keep bankrolling Amarenco as deals emerge.

“As long as the platform from Amarenco is performing, I would say, like any investors in that space, they will keep pouring money into our projects,” he said.

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