Sembcorp buys UK Power Reserve for £216m


Sembcorp Industries has struck a deal to buy peaking plant operator UK Power Reserve (UKPR) for £216 million.

The Singapore-based firm operates a collection of generation assets at the Wilton International industrial site in Teesside, totalling around 210MW. Sembcorp also hopes to gain planning approval to develop two combined cycle gas turbine units of up to 1,700 megawatts at Wilton.

Globally Sembcorp has some 12GW of power generation assets, across thermal plant, renewables and energy from waste.

UK Power Reserve says it has a 533MW operational portfolio of gas and diesel engines, with a further 480MW in development (including around 120MW of batteries), much of which have capacity market contracts.

Nomi Ahmad, head of Sembcorp’s UK utilities business, said the deal “provides major opportunities for further expansion”.

“UKPR and Sembcorp’s existing Teesside business will form a strong integrated energy business in the UK, combining centralised services at Wilton with multiple flexible assets across the country along with expertise across the full spectrum of UK energy markets,” she added.

Emrich: stepping down following sale

Tim Emrich, UKPR CEO and founder, said the deal “underlines… the value of the UK’s distributed energy market” and “opens up huge possibilities for the future.”

Having sold UKPR, Emrich will step down, with chief commercial officer Sam Wither taking over as CEO.

Eminently quotable, Emrich has been critical of both government and Ofgem in recent years, accusing Beis of “walking with dinosaurs“, the regulator of being “underpowered” and led by market incumbents over network charging, and the large utilities of operating a “mafia like” panel in setting up industry rules.

He told The Energyst last year that the team within Beis focused on encouraging the big six energy companies to invest “should all be fired” (see p28-29).

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