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Shell buys Australian energy retailer, eyes cleaner electricity

© BloombergShell gas
Shell

Shell (LSE:RDSA) said today that it will acquire Powershop Australia, an online energy retailer serving more than 185,000 customers, as it positions itself for the energy transition in Australia.

The deal will take place through the 100% acquisition of Meridian Energy Australia (MEA) Group, the parent company of Powershop, by a consortium of Shell and Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG), an Australian infrastructure investor and manager. Under the terms of the deal, Shell will acquire Powershop and ICG will acquire MEA’s portfolio of renewable generation assets and development projects.

The oil major aims to double its global power sales to 560 terawatt-hours by 2030, and serve more than 15 million electricity customers worldwide. In 2019 it bought Australia’s second-biggest electricity retailer to commercial and industrial clients and last year it acquired an Australia carbon farmer.

“Shell has been in Australia for more than 120 years and has a proud history of providing Australians with the energy they need to power their lives. This acquisition will see Shell continuing to serve the energy needs of our customers – this time in their homes,” said Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan.

The acquisition of Powershop is in line with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy and ambition to create an integrated power business. Powershop will form Shell’s residential power platform in Australia, extending Shell’s existing position as Australia’s largest dedicated retailer of electricity to commercial and industrial customers. Under the arrangement with ICG, Shell will also acquire wind power purchase agreements (PPAs) and has agreed offtake arrangements with ICG associated with MEA’s hydro and wind assets.

“Our aim is to become a leading provider of clean power-as-a-service and this acquisition broadens our customer portfolio in Australia to include households,” said Shell’s Executive Vice President of Renewables and Energy Solutions Elisabeth Brinton. “Shell’s presence across the entirety of our changing energy system means we are well-placed to manage complexity for customers so that we deliver simple, cleaner energy solutions.”

“This acquisition is another example of how we are continuing to grow our footprint in Australia to meet customers’ evolving needs through the energy transition. Powershop today offers innovative energy packages, and customers will benefit in the future from access to Shell’s broader suite of energy solutions linked to e-mobility and battery storage,” said Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. It is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Shell said it aims to sell around 560 terawatt hours a year globally by 2030 as part of its Integrated Power business, twice as much electricity as its businesses sell today, and expects to serve more than 15 million retail and business customers worldwide as a leading provider of clean power-as-a-service.

In Australia, Shell is assembling the building blocks of a clean energy business that includes commercial and industrial retailer, Shell Energy (formerly ERM Power); carbon farming specialist, Select Carbon; construction of the 120MW Gangarri solar development in Queensland; home battery energy storage systems provider, sonnen Australia; and a 49% interest in Australian solar developer, ESCO Pacific.

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