3i invests in power station developer

3i’s investment in Advanced Power marks another deal in the busy oil and gas sector as buyout firms attempt to profit from the rising demand for energy.

3i has invested €31.5 million in Advanced Power, a Swiss-based power station developer.

Advanced Power is working on ten conventional power station developments, which are all expected to receive planning permission in the next 9 months to 5 years.

Ian Russell, former chief executive of Scottish Power, will join Advanced Power’s board as chairman and George Verberg, chief executive of Gasunie will become a non-executive director. Russell was recruited to 3i in February.

Mark Kerr, director of 3i’s oil, gas and power, said power station development is an attractive and fast growing business due to increasing global demand for power and the rapid ageing of the existing fleet.

Advanced Power’s management has numerous former senior executives from InterGen, including chief executive Martin Giesen and managing director Mathew Brett

The oil and gas sector was avoided for many years by private equity managers, but it has recently been the subject of increasing attention. 

Last year, deals in the oil and gas sector topped $50 billion (€68 billion) for the first time, according to data provider, Dealogic. Last month 21 Centrale Partners completed the sale of Sud Robinetterie for €50 million, Natural Gas agreed to buy MDU Resources Group for $636 million and The Carlyle Group sold Group Genoyer to CDC Capital Investissement for an undisclosed sum.

3i’s oil, gas and power team manages a portfolio of $1billion in the UK, Norway, USA and Singapore. The portfolio includes both renewable and hydrocarbon-based energy companies, including a $250 million investment in Delta Hydrocarbons and a €30 million investment in Electrawinds, a Belgian renewable energy company.