Vauban Infrastructure Partners is acquiring a portfolio of district cooling and heating systems in the US from Basalt Infrastructure Partners II and DCO Energy.

The French infrastructure fund manager has purchased DB Energy Assets and Beacon Energy Holdings, which collectively own the eight assets and a management team.

The assets are located in five Northeast states and Michigan, and provide energy to a range of customers, including universities, urban centres, hospitals, and commercial and industrial companies.

DCO Energy will continue to operate and maintain the facilities under a long-term contract, and will also support Vauban in its objectives to reduce the carbon footprint and invest in developing and expanding the platform.

Vauban said the investment would increase its presence in the US and demonstrated its strong commitment to sustainability

Vauban has been active in the district energy and heating sector since 2016 and holds controlling interests in five assets worth US$2.2bn (€1.95bn) in enterprise value in Finland, France, Italy, Norway and Spain.

Gwenola Chambon, CEO and founding partner of Vauban, said: “Through this landmark transaction, Vauban Infrastructure Partners enters into the US district energy market.

“This acquisition will allow Vauban to leverage its considerable experience in the European district-energy market and is an important first step for Vauban in building a sustainable, long-term platform in the US.”

Gary Fromer, CEO of DCO Energy, said: “Over the last few years, in partnership with Basalt, we have significantly invested in and scaled our portfolio of district energy assets.

“We are excited by our new long-term partnership with Vauban Infrastructure Partners, and look forward to continuing to deliver reliable services to the customers, supporting the communities in which we operate, and participating in the continued development of the Company and its facilities.”

David Greenblatt, head of North America at Basalt, said: “Basalt Infrastructure Partners is pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with DCO Energy and the management teams at DBEA and Detroit Thermal.

“Their steadfast commitment to safely providing sustainable energy across our district energy customer base while executing on organic growth and follow-on acquisitions meaningfully contributed to the success of the business.”

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