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Shell widens power ambitions with $418m Australia swoop

Oil and gas group in deal for major electricity retailer as it adds to global sector portfolio

Oil giant Shell took another step into the global electricity sector with a deal to buy Australia’s ERM Power for A$617m ($418m).

If approved by ERM’s shareholders the deal will be among the biggest struck by Shell as part of its stated ambition to become “the world’s biggest power company” by the early 2030s.

The acquisition puts Shell in charge at a major commercial and industrial (C&I) supplier said to be Australia’s second-largest electricity retailer by load, whose contracts include major renewable energy agreements and expects to sell about 18.5TWh this year.

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On the generation side ERM operates two gas plants, which Shell said will “play an important role in Australia’s transition to renewables”.

The oil and gas supermajor has already invested in offshore wind and other renewable assets globally, bought German battery group Sonnen and taken over a UK electric utility.

Shell Australia country chair Zoe Yujnovich said: “This acquisition aligns with Shell’s global ambition to expand our integrated power business and builds on Shell Energy Australia’s existing gas marketing and trading capability.”

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