Italy’s Eni is buying a 20% stake in the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project from Perth-based SSE and Norway’s Equinor.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the north east coast of England, will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
Eni’s investment in the development is for a combined £405 million.
“SSE has entered into an agreement to sell a 10% stake in the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm to Eni for an equity consideration of £202.5m, subject to adjustments for interest on closing,” said SSE.
“SSE intends to use the proceeds to enable delivery of its low carbon growth plans.
“Divesting this stake in Dogger Bank Wind Farm is in line with SSE’s stated intention to partner to capitalise on its significant growth opportunities related to net zero.
“Eni has also entered into an agreement to purchase a 10% stake in Dogger Bank A & B from project partner Equinor.
“Once the transaction is complete, the new overall shareholding in Dogger Bank A (1,200MW) and Dogger Bank B (1,200MW) will be — SSE (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%).”
The transaction is expected to complete in early 2021, subject to regulatory and lender approvals.
There is no change to the ownership of the third phase, Dogger Bank C (1,200MW), in which SSE and Equinor each have a 50% stake.
SSE Renewables will continue to lead on the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, and Equinor will operate the asset on completion.
Explaining the gain on the sale and outlining its financial outlook for 2020-21, SSE said: “At its half year results in November 2020, SSE stated that it expected adjusted earnings per share for 2020/21 to be in the range of 75 pence to 85 pence including the gain on disposal of an equity stake in Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
“Following the successful conclusion of the Dogger Bank A & B equity stake disposal, SSE now expects adjusted earnings per share for 2020/21 to be in the range of 85 pence to 90 pence, including an EPS impact from the gain on sale of around 19 pence after transaction costs.
“Consistent with the range provided in November, this assumes normal weather conditions for the remainder of the year and an impact from coronavirus towards the middle of the £150m to £250m range set out in June 2020.”
SSE Finance Director Gregor Alexander said: “The sale of a stake in Dogger Bank Wind Farm to Eni is another successful example of SSE’s approach to partnering to create and secure value for shareholders.
“This transaction will enable us to fund further low carbon growth opportunities, helping to deliver governments’ net zero ambitions and our own target to treble our renewable output by 2030.”
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “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 5GW 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.”