Houston company acquired by private equity​ firm, plans to expand support of energy transition

The deal and financial support will help Saber to expand its services within the energy transition, including the ability to build out renewables and battery resources amid the electrification of the U.S. economy. Photo via Getty Images

A Houston-based infrastructure services platform has been acquired by an energy industry-focused private equity firm.

Saber Power Services announced last month that it has been acquired by an investor group led by Greenbelt Capital Management from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. The acquisition was in partnership with funds managed by Schroders Capital, StepStone Group, and Wafra Inc., according to the company's news release.

Saber, founded in 2010, is an electrical services firm that provides design, construction, testing, and maintenance services and solutions across the energy spectrum — renewables, battery storage, utility, industrial, and energy infrastructure markets. The company's customers are located throughout Texas and the Southeast.

“With over a decade of experience, the Saber Power team has demonstrated its ability to provide a safe, reliable and high-performance service offering that excels in complex environments," Brian Bratton, CEO of Saber, says in the release. "We are excited for Saber’s next chapter and believe this investment from Greenbelt demonstrates the market leading position of our business and our customers’ trust in the quality of our work."

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but some of Saber’s management team will maintain ownership of a significant stake in the company, according to the news release. Greenbelt, the acquiring party, secured debt and equity financing from Blackstone Credit.

“We are excited to partner with Greenbelt and look forward to supporting Saber with the next phase of its growth," say Blackstone representatives in the release. "Blackstone Credit invests in market leading energy-transition companies and believes Saber is well-positioned to play an important role in this space.”

The deal and financial support will help Saber to expand its services within the energy transition, including the ability to build out renewables and battery resources amid the electrification of the U.S. economy.

“The energy landscape is rapidly evolving as electrification trends continue to impact commercial and industrial end markets," Sam Graham, principal at Greenbelt, says. "Both physical assets and power markets will need to adapt to support load shifting, bi-directional power flows, and meaningfully increased power demand, all of which require increased grid complexity and strengthens demand for Saber’s specialized engineering, design, construction and maintenance services.”

Chris Murphy, partner at Greenbelt, adds that modernization of the grid is an important sector focus for the company.

"We believe Saber’s end-to-end service platform is critical to facilitate the growing penetration of distributed energy resources across the grid, as well as meet the increasing demands of mass-scale industrial electrification," he says. "We are thrilled to partner with Saber’s experienced and talented executive team and believe our history of investing across the new energy economy will allow us to help accelerate the Company’s growth.”

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A View From HETI

Here's 1PoinFive's newest customer on its Texas CCUS project. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Occidental Petroleum’s Houston-based carbon capture, utilization and, sequestration (CCUS) subsidiary, 1PointFive, has inked a six-year deal to sell 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal credits to software giant Microsoft.

In a news release, 1Point5 says this agreement represents the largest-ever single purchase of carbon credits enabled by direct air capture (DAC). DAC technology pulls CO2 from the air at any location, not just where carbon dioxide is emitted.

Under the agreement, the carbon dioxide that underlies the credits will be stored in a below-the-surface saline aquifer and won’t be used to produce oil or gas.

“A commitment of this magnitude further demonstrates how one of the world’s largest corporations is integrating scalable [DAC] into its net-zero strategy,” says Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive. “Energy demand across the technology industry is increasing, and we believe [DAC] is uniquely suited to remove residual emissions and further climate goals.”

Brian Marrs, senior director for carbon removal and energy at Microsoft, says DAC plays a key role in Microsoft’s effort to become carbon-negative by 2030.

The carbon dioxide will be stored at 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale DAC plant, being built near Odessa. The $1.3 billion Stratos project, which 1Point5 is developing through a joint venture with investment manager BlackRock, is designed to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

The facility is scheduled to open in mid-2025.

Aside from Microsoft, organizations that have agreed to buy carbon removal credits from 1Point5 include Amazon, Airbus, All Nippon Airways, the Houston Astros, the Houston Texans, and TD Bank.

Occidental says 1PointFive plans to set up more than 100 DAC facilities worldwide by 2035.

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