Marubeni to become co-owner of Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm

Marubeni Corporation has entered into an agreement with DONG Energy whereby Marubeni acquires a 49.9% stake in the 172MW Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm.

Marubeni will pay to DONG Energy a cash consideration of approx. GBP 200 million for the 49.9% stake in Gunfleet Sands. Completion of the transaction is conditional on, inter alia, Marubeni obtaining financing commitments from project financing banks. Completion is expected to take place during Q4 2011.

”We are delighted to have reached an agreement with DONG Energy for this important partnership; it is especially significant as it is the first investment by a Japanese company into an offshore wind power project. We are paying close attention to the offshore wind power sector and DONG Energy, the world leading company in this sector. We believe the offshore wind power sector represents a tremendous growth opportunity not only in Europe but in Japan and the Americas as well.” says Masumi Kakinoki, Executive Officer of Marubeni.

"We see this partnership with a well-established and prominent Japanese company as a vote of confidence to renewable energy in general and DONG Energy in particular. We believe the further development of the offshore wind energy industry will be based on bringing together different kinds of investors with an interest in this field. We are proud of being recognized internationally as an attractive partner and a market leader within offshore wind," says Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy.

The wind farm, located in the Thames Estuary off the Essex coast, produces green power corresponding to the annual power consumption of some 125,000 British households. The first green power from the wind farm was produced in August 2009, and the entire wind farm went into production in the spring of 2010.

DONG Energy will be providing operation and maintenance services to Gunfleet Sands under a long-term arrangement. DONG Energy and Marubeni have also agreed a long-term purchase agreement for the power production and green certificates arising from Marubeni’s share of Gunfleet Sands’ wind farm.

The transmission assets have been sold as part of the general tender process initiated by the UK regulator, Ofgem. DONG Energy is strongly involved in the production and expansion of renewable energy in the UK. The company currently operates the offshore wind farms Gunfleet Sands (172 MW), Burbo Bank (90 MW), Barrows (90 MW) and Walney 1 (184 MW). In addition, DONG Energy is involved in building four new major UK offshore wind farms, including what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm London Array (630 MW), due to enter into operation in 2012.