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Norwegian energy giant Equinor-promoted renewable energy company Scatec ASA aims to set up greenfield projects in India’s hydropower sector along with opportunities for acquisitions of distressed assets, a senior company executive said.

The Oslo-based company entered the hydropower sector last year by acquiring another Norwegian company SN Power.

The company would look at opportunities across verticals of renewable energy, including solar and wind, Roar Haughland, executive vice president for sustainable business and HSSE at Scatec said in an interview.

Scatec entered India in 2021 by becoming an equal partner in Acme Solar Holdings Ltd’s 900 megawatt (MW) solar project in Rajasthan.

“We have PV (photovoltaic) cells for solar, we have wind, we have hybrid solutions, we have battery energy storage systems and now we have hydro also. We are looking at hydro opportunities in India," Haughland said.

On plans for the hydroelectric sector in India, he said: “We are today looking for greenfield opportunities. It will also be interesting to look at other type of assets that we could jump to shorten the development phase. Distressed assets or typical other type of assets could also be on interest."

In January 2021, Scatec announced the completion of its purchase of 100% shares in SN Power from Norfund for a total equity value of $1.16 billion. The deal brought under Scatec’s portfolio, hydro power plants in several countries including the Philippines, Zambia, Laos, Uganda and Panama.

Scatec has 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity across four continents with South Africa, Egypt, and Latin America as its major markets. India is among the top five target markets for the company, Haughland said.

As of 16 April, India had a total installed hydropower capacity of 46.72 GW, forming 11.7% of the total installed capacity.

The company would also look at opportunities in other verticals of renewable energy ranging from solar, wind to battery storage, Haughland said.

The company has been selected as a preferred bidder for a battery storage project in South Africa, which it would undertake with local players. The company would also look at entering the battery storage business in India, he said.

Further, with the growing demand for green hydrogen and the policy push in India, he said that “green hydrogen will be on the table" for its India plans going ahead.

Recently, Scatec and Acme Group’s green hydrogen and ammonia project in Oman was awarded the first green hydrogen and green ammonia certificate globally by TÜV Rheinland, an independent certification agency.

Haughland said Scatec aims to have a total capacity of 15 GW renewable energy and its India operations are expected to get contribute a “major chunk" of that target.

Earlier this year, both Scatec and Acme announced the decision to put its 900 MW solar power project worth $400 million in Rajasthan on hold due to supply chain bottlenecks and rising import duties.

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