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Ørsted has signed an agreement to divest a 50 % ownership stake in its 1.3 GW Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm in the UK to a consortium comprising AXA IM Alts, acting on behalf of clients, and Crédit Agricole Assurances.
Hornsea 2 is currently under construction and will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once commissioned later in 2022. The total value of the transaction is GBP 3 billion, and the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022 once the wind farm is fully commissioned and customary regulatory approvals are obtained.
AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances will then each own 25 % of the project. The investors’ 50 % stake in Hornsea 2 will be funded through a combination of equity and a senior multi-tranche staple financing package provided by 30 banks and including a covered tranche guaranteed by EKF, Denmark’s export credit agency. The financing package was originated and structured by Ørsted.
Spanning an offshore area of 462 km², Hornsea 2 is located 89 km off the Yorkshire coast in the Hornsea zone, one of the world’s largest offshore wind development areas. With a capacity of 1.3 GW, Hornsea 2 will provide enough green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.3 million homes annually. Hornsea 2 is a key project supporting the UK government’s objective of achieving 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
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, the largest such base for offshore wind farms in the world. Furthermore, Ørsted will provide the incoming partners with balancing services and a long-term route to market for the renewable electricity generated from Hornsea 2.
Martin Neubert, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Group CEO at Ørsted, said “We’re delighted to partner with AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances, two world-leading financial institutions, which are committed to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral economy in line with the Paris Agreement – thereby supporting the urgently needed shift from fossil-based to renewable energy sources.”
The transaction is subject to full commissioning of the Hornsea 2 project and certain regulatory approvals, including from relevant competition authorities, and is expected to close in the second half of 2022.