The world’s biggest oil trader, Vitol, is setting up in partnership with Low Carbon a renewables fund that will invest in renewable energy assets across Europe, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
Vitol, which trades more than 7 million barrels of crude oil and products every day, and privately-owned investment company Low Carbon announced the creation of a Jersey-based fund—VLC Renewables—which will have an initial allocation of US$234 million (200 million euro) to invest in European renewable energy generation projects.
Vitol has committed the initial investment, and investment opportunities may be offered to third parties, the oil trader and Low Carbon said.
The new fund will initially target investments in both onshore and offshore wind. It will invest in projects at various stages of the development cycle, including late stage development, construction, and operation.
“By 2025 almost 27% of European electricity will be generated from wind and solar. As a major participant in Europe’s power markets and as a significant investor in energy infrastructure worldwide, Vitol is keen to build a portfolio of renewable investments to complement its existing activities,” Simon Hale, Investments at Vitol, said.
Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive at Low Carbon, also commented on the new fund creation:
“At its core, Low Carbon is committed to tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions through its long-term investments into the green infrastructure space. We firmly believe it is possible to provide all the energy we need through renewable sources, and this fund will help us further our ambition.”
Vitol is the latest of predominantly oil-focused companies to have committed investments into clean energy. Related: Is The Oil Industry Repeating A Critical Error
At the end of last year, BP said it would invest US$200 million in Europe’s largest solar development company, Lightsource, over three years for a 43-percent stake in the business.
Last month, BP said it would buy the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company, Chargemaster, in the latest show of Big Oil’s move into EV charging networks.
Last year, Shell signed a deal to buy one of Europe’s biggest EVs charging networks, Netherlands-based NewMotion. Shell has also partnered with a consortium involving some of Europe’s largest carmakers to build a network of EV fast-charging stations across the continent.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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