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Trafigura targets big boost to renewables portfolio

Commodities trader wants to add 2GW of renewable assets to portfolio by 2027 up from current 350MW

London

COMMODITIES trader Trafigura Group is planning a major increase in renewable-energy investments over the next half-decade.

The group wants to add 2 gigawatts of renewable energy assets to its portfolio by 2027, up from about 350 megawatts now, according to a brochure published on Tuesday by the Singapore-based trading house, in which it said that Trafigura's Galena Asset Management Renewables Fund allows third parties to invest in renewables projects and that it aims to build a portfolio of "at least" 2 gigawatts over the next five to seven years.

The world's biggest oil and gas traders are rushing to fund renewable-energy projects as demand pivots from fossil fuels towards cleaner sources of sustainable power like wind and solar. The coronavirus pandemic that has sapped fuel demand, particularly for air travel, may hasten the transition.

Trafigura's chief executive and chairman Jeremy Weir said last year that oil demand growth may plateau by 2025 and could begin declining by 2030. Trafigura made a leap into power and renewables trading in 2019, putting some of its top executives, including former iron-ore head Julien Rolland and the ex-co-head of oil trading, Robert Gillon, on the new team.

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The company took an equity stake last year in Hy2gen, a German startup working on green-hydrogen production. Pash Global, a renewables investment vehicle majority-owned by Trafigura, bought a 49.9 per cent stake in a solar farm project in Mali in January. The group is the second-largest independent oil trader handling about 6 million barrels of crude and petroleum products a day.

Vitol Group, the biggest independent energy trader, is also investing in renewables projects including wind farms, solar and a carbon capture project linked to a power plant it controls in the UK. BLOOMBERG

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