GREEN GUIDE EMEA 2023: Sweden
In Sweden, Nordic firm Hannes Snellman counts with a team experienced in advising clients on renewable energy and decarbonisation matters.
In a matter led by Johanna Wärnberg and others, the team is currently advising InfraVia Capital on the acquisition of a 175 MW wind farm in Björkvattnet, Sweden, and on the subsequent €133m debt financing for the construction and operation of the wind farm. The wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 175,000 homes in the country. Additionally, in another recent highlight, the team advised Schaeffler, a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors, with its investment in the Swedish green impact company H2 Green Steel, which aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel industry through green hydrogen.
Since 2020, the firm has been a member of the UN Global Compact Network. At a multi-jurisdictional level, its internal environmental policies include calculating its carbon footprint on a yearly basis and compensating its emissions through Gold Standard projects.
The firm also supports a number of organisations through its pro bono work, including assisting WWF in its aim to help people live more sustainability and act against climate change.
With a dedicated renewable energy practice that has demonstrable experience assisting clients with innovative e-fuel and wind power projects, full-service firm MAQS Advokatbyrå provides focused advice seeking to support Sweden’s goal to meet the entire national electricity demand through renewable sources by 2040.
The firm assisted Liquid Wind with the development of Sweden’s first commercial-scale e-fuel facility, FlagshipONE, which will combine biogenic CO2 captured from municipal utility company Övik Energi’s biomass-fired plant with renewable hydrogen to produce e-methanol as a renewable fuel for the maritime sector. Supporting the development of this innovative e-methanol project, the firm also advised Liquid Wind on renewable project developer, constructor, and operator Ørsted’s acquisition of a 45% share in FlagshipONE.
Within the onshore wind sector, the firm acted for EnBW Sverige in the acquisition of all the shares in Kusberget Vindkraft, which has started development of a windfarm targetting an annual electricity production of 330m MWh. The firm’s expertise in renewable energy has also seen it provide advice in the emerging offshore wind sector, assisting Agrivind with the sale of its rights to the 260 MW Kattegatt Offshore windfarm to Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, facilitating the project’s development.
Mikael Kowal, head of the firm’s renewables practice, is on the board of solar, wind, and hydrogen operator Rabbalshede Kraft, and chairs the board of renewable energy consultancy Wind Sweden.
Through its sustainable business focus area, integrated within its operational groups, the firm raises awareness among employees on the green transition and fosters internal collaboration to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, focusing upon minimising energy consumption, travel, and waste. Targeting to become net zero by 2030, the firm measures its carbon footprint annually, in compliance with its certification with The Swedish Environmental Base. Toward this aim, the firm has moved to LEED-certified offices in Stockholm and Sundsvall.
A member of the Science Based Targets Initiative since 2021, full-service Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling provides particular expertise in major wind power mandates and innovative green industrial projects.
Therese Strömshed is advising Danish transmission system operator Energinet on the permit proceedings for the connection of the Bornholm energy island to mainland Denmark across the North Sea. The 3 GW-capacity island will collect energy from surrounding offshore wind farms and provide green electricity for consumers in Denmark and Germany.
With its finance and development expertise within Sweden’s emerging offshore wind sector, the firm is advising large-scale developer and constructor OX2 in the divestment of a 9 GW offshore wind development portfolio to Ingka Investments. In another matter, Emma Olnäs Fors advised wind power company Zephyr on the divestment of a majority share in its 2.8 GW offshore wind development portfolio to major renewable energy company Vattenfall Vindkraft.
The firm also assists with the decarbonisation of emissions-intensive industries, such as advising H2 Green Steel on the construction and financing of its innovative hydrogen-based fossil-free steel mill in northern Sweden; and acting for Heidelberg Cement Group within their project to upgrade their facility in Slite – Sweden’s largest cement plant – to utilise carbon capture and storage and consequentially become the world’s first carbon-neutral cement plant.
For Northvolt, which is developing a green battery gigafactory in Sweden to produce sustainable lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, Johan Granehult advised on the client’s $8bn equity and debt financing and €3bn construction project.
The firm promotes climate-conscious initiatives across client work and internal strategies, having signed the Green Arbitration Pledge and become a member of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance. It also provides pro bono legal advice for the Race for the Baltic project, which seeks to rejuvenate marine ecosystems by limiting eutrophication.