Denham Sustainable Infrastructure Launches New Brazilian Renewables Player Pontal Energy After Completing Transaction With Equinor

Denham Capital, the global energy transition investment firm, has completed a transaction with Equinor for the sale of certain Rio Energy assets, the Rio Energy trade name, and the management team platform. Denham Sustainable Infrastructure (“DSI”) has established a new renewable energy developer and operator, Pontal Energy, to manage the continued growth of the assets and pipeline retained by Denham in the transaction. The launch of Pontal Energy and the appointment of its management team strengthens DSI’s footprint in the region as an experienced investor in Brazilian sustainable infrastructure.

Pontal Energy will operate a large portfolio of renewable energy assets, managing around 1 GW of renewable capacity, enough to power 750,000 homes in the region.[i] This includes three operational onshore wind projects: the 0.1 GW Caetité project, the 0.2 GW Itarema project, and the 0.2 GW Serra da Babilônia 3 project. It also retains the c. 0.2 GW in construction Caetité Norte onshore wind project, and c. 0.3 GW of onshore wind and solar pipeline projects.

DSI has established a management team for Pontal Energy, appointing Gustavo Ribeiro as CEO. Gustavo brings over 18 years of experience in Brazilian infrastructure and power markets and was previously CEO and Board Member of Ibitu Energia. He has overseen the development of more than 6 GW of power projects in the region. DSI will have close oversight at the board level, including board representation from Brazilian energy market experts. Long-standing Rio Energy Chairperson Ana Marta Veloso will continue as Chair for Pontal.

DSI’s investment and support helped to grow Rio Energy into a key renewable energy platform for Brazil, creating a substantial portfolio of onshore wind projects and an attractive pipeline of onshore wind and solar developments, generating clean, low-cost energy. The launch of Pontal Energy marks a continuation of Denham’s support for Brazil’s rapid energy transition. The country is leading the way in renewables development, generating nearly 90% of its electricity from clean sources in 2022.[ii]

Sarah Lane, Managing Director, Denham Sustainable Infrastructure said:

“The launch of Pontal Energy is a testament to Denham Sustainable Infrastructure’s commitment to Brazil’s clean energy sector. With the support of our trusted regional experts and the appointment of Gustavo Ribeiro as CEO, we are looking forward to further supporting the development of renewable energy in the region.

We are excited to build on the success achieved with Rio Energy and maintain a footprint in Brazil’s fast-growing clean energy economy. The launch of Pontal Energy embodies DSI’s value-add strategy to support industry-leading teams to deliver low-cost, sustainable power generation in high-growth economies.”

Gustavo Ribeiro, CEO and Board Member, Pontal Energy said:

“As the newly appointed CEO of Pontal Energy, I’m thrilled to lead an organization supported by the vision and expertise that Denham Sustainable Infrastructure provides. With a substantial portfolio of renewable energy assets, including operational wind projects and a promising pipeline, we are dedicated to delivering clean power to the region.

Drawing from my 18 years of experience in Brazilian infrastructure and power markets, and with the support of a strong board that includes Brazilian energy market experts, Pontal Energy is well-positioned to contribute to Brazil’s energy transition. Pontal will continue delivering renewable energy growth in a country that’s already leading the way in clean power generation.”

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