FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Orsted Orsted, the world’s largest developer of offshore wind power farms, is launching the sale of Hornsea Two in a deal that is expected to value the British offshore wind park at roughly 3 billion euros ($3.54 billion), including debt, people close to the matter said.
Orsted is working with Credit Agricole on the partial divestiture, which is in line with the developer’s strategy of selling off large stakes in operational wind parks to invest the capital in new projects, they said.
Like other large utilities, Orsted focuses on the development of offshore wind farms, which takes years and comes with high risks and costs. Once the wind farms are connected to the grid and steadily deliver electricity they can achieve attractive valuations if sold on to infrastructure investors and and pension funds.
Renewable and low-carbon energy businesses are attracting high valuations from cash-rich investors who expect steady growth in the market as policymakers seek alternatives to fossil fuels.
Orsted declined to comment, but its chief investment officer has previously said that it has plans to sell a stake in Hornsea Two. Credit Agricole declined to comment.
Information packages have already been dispatched to potential buyers and first-round bids are expected later this month, the sources said.
Orsted shares, which were up already, rose further on the news and to trade 3% higher at 0940 GMT.
Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm is located 90 kilometres (56 miles) off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea and has 165 Siemens Gamesa 8MW (megawatt) turbines with a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts, providing power to more than 1.3 million homes. The park is due to become fully operational in 2022.
Orsted sold a 50% stake in adjacent Hornsea One, the world’s largest offshore wind project, to Global Infrastructure Partners in a 2018 deal.
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Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Louise Heavens