Danish energy giant Ørsted, formerly DONG Energy, has agreed to sell 50% of Walney Extension, a 659 MW offshore wind farm project located in the Irish Sea, to a consortium consisting of PKA and PFA, two leading Danish pension funds.
Each investor will obtain a 25% ownership interest in the project. Walney Extension, which is currently under construction, will leapfrog London Array to become the world's largest offshore wind farm when commissioned in the second half of 2018.
The offshore wind farm will consist of a total of 87 wind turbines. The first of what will eventually be 40 MHI Vestas V164-8.0MW turbines has already been installed. There will also be 47 Siemens Gamesa SWT-7.0 MW-154 turbines.
Turbine components and foundations are being stored in Belfast and the construction coordinated from the port of Barrow-in-Furness.
Ørsted is building the wind farm under a full-scope EPC contract and will also provide long-term operations and maintenance services from the O&M base in Barrow-in-Furness.
Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Ørsted, welcomed the Danish pension funds, saying, “We already have a strong partnership with PKA on three other offshore wind farms and we look forward to building an equally long-lasting relationship with PFA on what will be the world’s biggest wind farm when completed.”
“The divestment fully confirms our expectations of the value creation in the project. The transaction price is another proof that the market shares Ørsted’s view regarding the value of its projects,” he concluded.
The total sales price comprises the acquisition of a 50% ownership share and the commitment to fund 50% of the payments under the EPC contract for the entire wind farm and amounts to approximately £2 billion ($2.6 billion), which will be paid during 2017 and 2018.
The transaction is subject to approval by relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.