M&A Moves

McKinsey acquires Houston-area co. to enhance sustainability services

According to McKinsey data, more than $3.5 trillion will be invested in green hydrogen, carbon capture, renewable energy, and other projects that are working toward net-zero transition by 2050. Photo via ses-estimating.com

A global management consulting company has executed on an acquisition key to its plans amid the energy transition.

McKinsey & Company announced the acquisition of Strategic Estimating Systems, a Sugar Land-based consulting firm specializing in cost estimation for oil, gas, and chemical process industries. The acquisition provides McKinsey with enhanced benchmarking capabilities across capital project management — especially within the energy transition.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The capital projects ecosystem is presented with a once-in-a-generation chance to aid in transforming economies to achieve net zero," Justin Dahl, partner and global leader of McKinsey & Company's Capital Analytics, says in a news release. "By integrating SES's unmatched capabilities, we're not only enhancing our sustainability services, such as carbon capture, but also expanding the scope of our existing Capital Excellence capabilities to crucial industries and wider geographies."

"This allows our clients to gain an independent perspective on value, cost, and timing at every phase of the capital project lifecycle, thereby improving bottom-up estimating," Dahl continues. "Committed to innovation and excellence, this acquisition empowers us to explore new value dimensions and further refine our expertise in bottom-up estimating for our clients."

According to McKinsey data, more than $3.5 trillion will be invested in green hydrogen, carbon capture, renewable energy, and other projects that are working toward net-zero transition by 2050.

"We are thrilled to join McKinsey and expand our footprint to serve more clients on a larger scale," SES Founder and CEO Mike Monteith, who joins as Leader of McKinsey & Company's Capital Analytics, says in the release. "McKinsey is unparalleled in developing scalable and sustainable transformation strategies, leveraging industry leading insight and expertise in capital excellence.

"By working together, we will amplify our strengths, driving greater impact for clients at every stage of the capital project lifecycle, and delivering end-to-end transformations that create lasting value," he continues.

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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