By Lefteris Karagiannopoulos
OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian utility Statkraft plans to expand its electric vehicle charging business in Germany and Britain, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday, and also expects to snap up some more power plants by the end of 2019.
The electric vehicle (EV) charging business is a growing market for utilities and Nordic competitors Fortum and Vattenfall have boosted their presence with several acquisitions and cooperation across Europe.
“We are looking at EV charging companies in Germany and we are also looking at the UK for EV charging cooperations,” Statkraft’s CEO Christian Rynning-Tonnesen said.
The need for more charging stations is growing as car makers introduce a greater variety of plug-in electric and hybrid models.
In Norway, a record 60 percent of all new vehicles sold in March were fully electric.
Statkraft’s Rynning-Tonnesen said Groenn Kontakt, an EV charging network operator which Statkraft controls together with Agder Energi, is planning to expand from Norway to Sweden.
The EV markets that Statkraft is focussing on are Norway, Sweden, Germany, Britain and Ireland, he added.
Statkraft has a plan underway to invest some 10 billion Norwegian crowns (879.9 million pounds) in renewable energy projects towards 2025.
It beefed up acquisitions in the second part of last year, when it acquired hydropower dams in Brazil and India, in addition to a portfolio of 1,500 megawatt of wind projects in Ireland and Britain.
In 2019 it also bought a 61 percent stake in the EV charging company eeMobility in Germany.
More deals are underway, Rynning-Tonnesen told Reuters. “We are working on several cases that may materialise later this year.”
Statkraft’s CEO spoke on the sidelines of the firm’s first quarter results presentation. Similar to its Nordic rivals, the company reported improved underlying operating profits, capitalising on high power prices which made up for the reduced power generation from hydropower dams.
(Editing by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)