The Italian oil giant Eni has reached an agreement to acquire a 20% stake in the 2.4 GW Dogger Bank A and B wind farms in the UK from SSE and Equinor which currently own a 50% each.
Equinor said it would sell a 10% equity interest for a total consideration of around GBP 202.5 million. Eni will buy a further 10% interest from SSE on the same terms. This means Eni will pay GBP 405 million ($547.3 million) in total.
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%).
"By entering the Dogger Bank (A and B) project, Eni adds 480 MW of renewable energy to its 2025 target of 5GW of installed capacity from renewable sources, while it will additionally be able to explore potential synergies with the retail business," Eni said.
The first two phases of Dogger Bank last month reached a financial close. Dogger Bank C phase 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.
The Dogger Bank A and B projects involve the installation of 190 offshore wind turbines situated approximately 80 miles from the British coast. Each turbine, of GE Renewable Energy's giant Haliade-X type, will have a capacity of 13 MW for a total capacity of 2.4 GW.
At full capacity, Dogger Bank (3.6 GW) will be the world’s largest project of its kind, generating around 5% of UK demand for renewable electricity and supplying energy to approximately 6 million British families.
Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of Eni, has stated: “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.”
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.
SSE Renewables is leading the construction of the 3.6 GW project, and Equinor will lead on the wind farm’s operations.
The first phase, Dogger Bank A, is expected to be operational in 2023. The overall wind farm is expected to be completed in 2026.
“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 Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president in New Energy Solutions in Equinor.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2021, subject to regulatory and lenders approvals and customary purchase price adjustments.