Green Investment Group (GIG), part of Australian financial giant Macquarie (ASX: MQG), has unveiled plans to launch a new specialist offshore wind business.
Corio Generation will commence operations next month with a project pipeline of more than 15 gigawatts (GW), one of the largest in the world.
A GIG portfolio company, operating on a standalone basis, Corio will take projects from origination, through development and construction, and into operations.
It will apply a long-term partnership approach to the creation and management of projects, underpinned by access to long-term capital sourced both within Macquarie and from third parties.
Corio will continue the development of GIG’s existing portfolio – which includes previously announced projects in the UK, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia.
Over 100 staff will be transferred into the new business as it begins operations in April 2022, with plans to recruit more staff in the coming year.
Jonathan Cole will lead the business as chief executive after more than a decade as leader of Iberdrola’s offshore wind division.
He has a track record of developing a major international pipeline of offshore wind projects, and was previously responsible for the development, construction and operation of over 30 GW of projects in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Mr Cole said: “I am hugely excited by this unique opportunity to lead a business that combines some of the world’s best financial and industrial expertise – and I believe that Corio will play a significant role in accelerating the deployment of offshore wind around the world. From day one, we will be able to work with partners, suppliers and investors to deliver a major project pipeline that will not only provide vast quantities of clean affordable electricity but will also support thousands of green jobs.”
Samuel Leupold, who is currently GIG’s chairman of offshore wind energy, will also join Corio in the same role.
He over 20 years of professional experience in the energy sector to the role, having previously worked for Orsted, ABB and McKinsey.
The creation of Corio is GIG’s latest commitment to offshore wind and builds on its pioneering work in the sector.
Alongside TotalEnergies and RIDG, the Edinburgh-headquartered company secured an option agreement in the ScotWind leasing round.
Known collectively as the West of Orkney Windfarm, the partners proposed to build a 2 GW development near Orkney.
Clean energy produced by the offshore wind farm could be supplied to the Flotta oil and gas terminal for use in creating green hydrogen.
Mark Dooley, global head of GIG, said: “We were one of the earliest investors in the offshore wind market, and over the last decade we’ve built one of the world’s largest development portfolios across the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia and beyond. Consolidating that momentum and capability into Corio gives this business the opportunity to be a leading player in the next era of offshore wind. By leveraging deep expertise and access to capital, Corio will apply all its energy to deliver the next generation of offshore wind projects in established and emerging markets worldwide.”
Corio will be headquartered in the UK with offices in London and Edinburgh.
It will explore opportunities to enter the Americas and, as with previous projects, the business will look to work with, and develop, local supply chain partners.