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Norway fund makes renewables push with $1.6 billion Orsted deal

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has made its first direct investment in a renewable energy project, a new asset class for the fund, it said on Wednesday.

The fund bought a 50% stake in the Borssele 1 and 2 wind farm off the Netherlands for 1.375 billion euros ($1.63 billion)from Denmark’s Orsted , the fund and the company said in separate announcements.

The Borssele is the world’s second-largest offshore wind farm in operation.

Such direct investments are new for the Norwegian fund which, until last year, was only allowed to invest in stocks, bonds and real estate.

The agreement was signed on Wednesday, with completion expected in the second or third quarter of 2021.

The fund is looking to invest some 100 billion Norwegian crowns ($12 billion) between 2020 and 2022 in unlisted renewable projects such as wind parks and solar farms, looking first at North America and Europe.

In October, CEO Nicolai Tangen said the fund was having trouble finding suitable investments because of the paucity of projects and strong competition for stakes in them.

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