Equinor has entered into an agreement with Eni to sell a 10% equity interest in the Dogger Bank Wind Farm A and B assets in the UK for a total consideration of around GBP 202.5 million.
Eni has also entered into an agreement to purchase a 10% interest in Dogger Bank A and B from project partner SSE on the same terms. Once the transaction is complete, the new overall shareholding in Dogger Bank A (1.2 GW) and Dogger Bank B (1.2 GW) will be – SSE (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%).
Eni will enter the assets effective from financial close of project financing which was reached on 25 November. The consideration of around GBP 202.5 million reflects the payment to Equinor for a 10% equity interest in both Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B. Equinor’s shareholder loan financing to date of around GBP 185 million was repaid following the financial close.
“This is our third offshore wind transaction in less than two years. Once again, we have demonstrated Equinor’s ability to create value from renewables projects. The divestment is in line with our strategy. We access attractive acreage early and at scale, then leverage our technology and experience to mature and de-risk projects. Today’s deal underpins our track record in consistently capturing value from world class assets,” says Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president in New Energy Solutions in Equinor.
Equinor and SSE Renewables secured 3.6 GW of offshore wind contracts for Dogger Bank’s three phases, Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C in the UK Government’s 2019 Contract for Difference auctions.
The first two phases of Dogger Bank reached recently financial close at competitive terms, underlining the attractiveness of the UK offshore wind assets and the confidence in the joint venture. Dogger Bank C is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow at a later stage. There is no change to the ownership of the third phase, Dogger Bank C (1.2 GW), in which Equinor and SSE each have a 50% stake.
SSE Renewables are leading the construction of the 3.6 GW project, and Equinor will lead on the wind farm’s operations.
“Dogger Bank is the largest wind farm in the world under construction, and we are pleased to welcome Eni as a new partner. Through the sheer scale of the project we have delivered record-low contract prices for the UK market, and as operator of the wind farm we will continue to deliver value to the UK for years to come. Together with our partners we will continue to drive the energy transition to a net zero emissions future for the UK,” says Eitrheim.
“For Eni, entering the offshore wind market in Northern Europe is a great opportunity to gain further skills in the sector thanks to the collaboration with two of the industry’s leading companies, and to make a substantial contribution to the 2025 target of 5 GW of installed capacity from renewables, an intermediate step towards the more ambitious target of zero net direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2050,” says Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of Eni.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2021, subject to regulatory and lenders approvals and customary purchase price adjustments.
Equinor is developing as a broad energy company, and on 2 November this year announced its ambition to become a net-zero energy company by 2050. The company aims to become a global offshore wind major and expects to increase its current installed capacity to 12-16 GW, around 30 times the current level, by 2035.