Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund) has acquired a 9.5 per cent stake in Skyborn Renewables, a leading offshore wind developer and operator, alongside Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent infrastructure investment fund.
Announcing the key stake deal, PIF said the investment in Skyborn was in line with its mission to build strategic economic partnerships to achieve sustainable returns and unlock promising economic opportunities globally.
PIF deploys capital domestically and globally in strategic sectors with significant long-term growth potential that will contribute to maximising its assets and diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy in line with Vision 2030.
This investment will allow PIF to participate in the acceleration of energy transition and clean energy at an international scale through an investment in a geographically diversified offshore wind energy platform, it stated.
According to PIF, the Skyborn platform includes interests in operating and under-construction projects in Germany, France and Taiwan as well as a pipeline of over 30 GW (gross) of highly diversified offshore wind projects in various stages of development.
The company has over 20 years of development experience, a track record of over 7 GW of capacity developed to-date, and a presence in over 15 European and APAC markets.
Deputy Governor and Head of the International Investments Division at PIF Turqi A. Alnowaiser said: "This investment opportunity enhances our objectives to increase our portfolio of investments in the low carbon sector, which now includes solar, power generation, electric vehicles and offshore wind energy. Offshore wind has a key role to play in driving global decarbonisation and we see significant growth opportunities for Skyborn."
"Our partnership with Skyborn and GIP will help drive the development of innovative sustainable technology, which positions Saudi Arabia as an enabler of industries of the future and the creator of new opportunities, he added.
According to him, PIF has a strong track record of investing in the low carbon sector such as electric vehicles and solar energy projects, as part of a commitment to develop 70 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy by 2030.
The Saudi wealth fund boasts major investments in renewable energy companies such as Acwa Power and the Sudair and Al Shuaibah Solar Energy projects, and in the development of electric vehicles through investments in E1, Lucid Motors and Ceer.
In 2021, PIF and Saudi Tadawul Group also announced the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) Initiative, which in October 2022 held an inaugural auction of 1.4 million tonnes of carbon credits, the largest-ever carbon credit sale.
On the key acquisition deal, GIP Founding Partner Matt Harris said: "We are excited to have one of our most important investor partners, PIF, invest alongside us in Skyborn Renewables. Offshore wind is an important component of the transition to clean, renewable power."
"The investment supports our commitment to the energy transition through the continued growth of global renewable power generation," he added.