SN Power’s history goes back to 2002, when the two Norwegian state entities Statkraft and Norfund joined forces to establish a hydropower company that focussed on emerging markets, contributing to economic growth and sustainable development.
Statkraft Norfund Power Invest AS (SN Power) was established in 2002 as a 50-50 Joint Venture between Statkraft and Norfund (Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries). In May the following year, SN Power made its first investment, with the acquisition of 30 per cent of Nividhu in Sri Lanka, a venture partner that operates the power plants Assupiniella and Belihuloya.
During the company’s first four years in operation, SN Power in quick succession entered the markets in Sri Lanka (2003), Peru (2003), India (2004), Chile (2005) and Nepal (2006). The entry in the Indian market with partnership in LNJ Bhilwara in 2004 proved an early milestone. The Indian expansion continued in 2009, when SN Power and the Tata Power Company, one of India’s largest industrial companies, signed an exclusive cooperation agreement for the development of new hydropower projects in India and Nepal.
In 2005, Aboitiz Power became SN Power’s partner in the Philippines. Aboitiz Power Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary representing the consolidated electricity interests of the Aboitiz Group which is one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines focusing on electricity, financial, and food sectors in the Philippines. Aboitiz has been involved in the Philippine electricity industry since the 1930s.
The following year, SN Power and Aboitiz launched SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP), where SN Power holds 50 per cent ownership. SN Aboitiz Power acquired Magat, the largest hydropower plant in the Philippines with a capacity of 380 MW/940 GWh. The formerly state-owned plant was put up for privatisation and was acquired through a major bidding process. Magat is a cornerstone company in the local community and a number of corporate social responsibility programmes have been established in areas spanning everything from environment work to health services and education.
In November 2007, SN Aboitiz Power won the bidding for the Ambuklao and Binga power plants in the Philippines. Ambuklao has a long history, but has been completely out of commission following an earthquake in 1990. Following SNAP’s acquisition and a three-year rehabilitation period, the plant started full operations n in 2011. SNAP also managed to increase the capacity from the original 75 MW to the current 105 MW.
Binga has been built just downstream of Ambuklao and has a capacity of 100 MW. The power plant is in operation during the on-going rehabilitation, which increased Binga’s capacity to 120 MW when completed in 2013.
Concurrently with activities in the Philippines, SN Power increased its power portfolio by acquisitions in Peru, Chile and opening an office in Vietnam. The expansion in Chile also saw SN Power’s entry in its first ever wind power project, Totoral, a farm with 23 wind turbines north of Santiago. (SN Power signed an agreement to sell all shares in the wind farm to Latin America Power (LAP), a Brazilian energy company, in July 2013.)
In 2009, SN Power set up SN Power AfriCA to expand activities into Africa and Central America. (The subsidiary later changed its name to Agua Imara.) The same year, Statkraft acquired another 10 per cent of SN Power and thus became the majority owner.
In May 2011, the SN Power subsidiary Agua Imara acquired 51 per cent in Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company (LHPC) in Zambia. LHPC owns two power plants, Mulungushi Power Station and Lunsemfwa Power Station. 2011 also saw Agua Imara entering into a partnership with the power company EDM in Mozambique, and – together with Credicorp Group – began the development of Bajo Frio, a power plant in Panama in Central America. Less than a year later, SN Power acquired Hidroelectrica Burica, downstream of Bajo Frio.
The year 2011 was an active period for SN Power, with entry in the Brazilian market with the acquisition of all shares in Enerpar. This marked SN Power's first investment in a pure energy trading company.
In June 2012 SN Power celebrated its tenth anniversary. In the decade since SN Power was established the company has grown into an important player in emerging markets.
During 2013 steps were taken to streamline SN Power’s strategy and operations. In June 2013, Statkraft and Norfund agreed to restructure and prolong their cooperation within renewable energy until 2023, but now with a geographical focus on Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America. This agreement takes the cooperation to the next phase. The goal is to develop a leading international hydropower company, contributing to the development of a low-carbon society through profitable investments.
On 27th September 2017 Statkraft and Norfund closed an agreement to swap shares in their jointly owned international hydropower assets.
The agreement implies that Statkraft sells all its shares in SN Power to Norfund, while Norfund sells all its shares in Statkraft IH Invest AS (SKIHI) to Statkraft.
Up until that date, Statkraft and Norfund owned 50 percent each in SN Power, which owns hydropower plants in Panama, Laos, Phillippines and Zambia. At the same time Statkraft has owned 81.9% and Norfund 18.1% of the shares in SKIHI, the company owning mainly hydropower assets in Peru, Brazil, Chile, India and Nepal.
Through these transactions, Norfund increases its presence in Africa and Southeast Asia.