Ørsted has offloaded a 50 per cent stake in what is set to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm for £3bn to a consortium including AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole.
The transaction for the 1.3 GW Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm 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 per cent of the project.
The investors’ 50 per cent stake in Hornsea 2 will be funded through a combination of equity and a senior multi-tranche financing package provided by 30 banks.
This includes 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 462km squared, Hornsea 2 is located 89km off the Yorkshire coast in the Hornsea zone, one of the world’s largest offshore wind development areas.
When finished, it will provide enough green electricity to power more than 1.3m homes annually.
The project is a key feature in the UK government’s plan to achieve 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.
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.”
It will also provide the incoming partners with balancing services and a long-term route to market for the renewable electricity generated from Hornsea 2.
Mark Gilligan, head of infrastructure equity at AXA IM Alts, said: “Our investment strategy is all about decarbonisation, electrification, and digitalisation. These are central to the energy transition. Hornsea 2 allows us to play an important role in decarbonising and electrifying the United Kingdom.”