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Phoenix invests £27m in renewable energy

Phoenix invests £27m in renewable energy

Phoenix Group announced today (26 March) a maiden investment of £27m in renewable energy, amid a bid to diversify its investment portfolio.

The provider has agreed to provide debt-financing for the acquisition of a 50 per cent share in the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm Project, a project to assist with the construction and operation of the enlarged offshore wind farm, situated 45 miles north of Liverpool.

Walney will provide clean energy to a large number of UK homes, and the extension of the wind farm will be operational from September 2018.

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The renewable energy company is jointly owned by green energy company, Orsted (formerly Dong Energy) and Danish pension funds, PKA and PFA. 

The tranche of the bond Phoenix is invested in is additionally guaranteed by EKF, Denmark's Export Credit Agency.

According to Scott Robertson, Phoenix Group's head of financial management group, in the last 12 months the provider has continued to diversify its investment portfolio with long-term investments in renewable energy, local authorities including Birmingham City Council and equity release mortgages. 

He said: "From a Phoenix perspective, these investments provide a highly predictable and secure stream of long-term cash-flows to match our pensioner liabilities.

"This investment marks an important first step for us in renewable energy and it particularly suits our ambitions. We hope to see further projects of this nature in the future."

Recently, it was announced that Phoenix will buy Standard Life Aberdeen's insurance arm in a £3.2bn deal.

The consolidator is to acquire the life company's book of insurance contracts, including annuities and workplace pensions, as part of the transaction.

maria.espadinha@ft.com