Hornsea One offshore wind farm. Credit Ørsted
Ørsted has signed an agreement to divest a 50% ownership stake in the UK’s 1.3GW Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm to a consortium comprising AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances.
Once the transaction is finalised, AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances will each own 25% of the project. The investors’ 50% stake in Hornsea 2 will be funded through a combination of equity and multi-tranche financing packages.
The total value of the transaction is GBP 3 billion ($4 billion) and is expected to close in the second half of 2022 once the wind farm is fully commissioned.
Duncan Clark, Head of Region UK at Ørsted, said: “We’re very much looking forward to working with our new partners and continuing to support the UK’s commitment to decarbonise electricity by 2035. Ørsted has invested more than GBP 14 billion in the UK to date, and when Hornsea 2 becomes fully operational later this year, our wind farms will be supplying over 7% of Britain’s electricity.
“We’re now focused on helping the UK deliver on its 40 GW and Sector Deal target for offshore wind by 2030, a significant milestone in the energy transition that will deliver more than GBP60 billion of investment for the UK while supporting the UK’s world-class offshore wind supply chain and more than 40,000 jobs over the next few years.”
Hornsea 2 spans an offshore area of 462km² and is located 89km off the Yorkshire coast. The project is currently under construction and is scheduled to be commissioned later in 2022.
Ørsted is finalising the construction of the project and will provide long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) services for 20 years from its O&M base at the Port of Grimsby.
Mark Gilligan, Head of Infrastructure Equity at AXA IM Alts, said: “Our investment strategy is all about decarbonisation, electrification, and digitalisation…This landmark transaction aligns with our aim of acquiring, for our clients, utility-scale low-carbon essential businesses and being a long-term partner of choice for outstanding operators like Ørsted.”
Philippe Dumont, CEO of Crédit Agricole Assurances, said: “We’re proud to announce this new partnership in favour of the energy transition. This investment in Hornsea 2, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is fully in line with Crédit Agricole Group’s climate commitments. This operation will also contribute to Crédit Agricole Assurances’ objectives to double its investments in renewable energies and reach an 11GW installed capacity by 2025.”
The transaction is subject to full commissioning and regulatory approvals.