Equinor ASA EQNR recently agreed to divest a 25% stake in the Arkona wind farm offshore Germany to funds advised by Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners. The deal is valued at €500 million ($547.9 million), almost double of what Equinor invested in the farm. In April 2016, the company entered the project with a 50% stake.
The offshore wind farm, which incorporates 60 six-megawatt turbines, has a nameplate capacity of 378 megawatts. It is located 35 kilometres northeast of the Rügen island and can export up to 385 megawatts.
Following the closure of the transaction, the Norwegian energy giant will retain 25% interest in the property in the Baltic Sea. It is currently operated by RWE Renewables, with a 50% stake. Notably, the Arkona wind farm is Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners’ first ever investment in the offshore wind industry. The transaction is expected to close in fourth-quarter 2019.
The recent move marks Equinor’s ability to realize value from offshore wind properties. It has strong presence in the renewable energy market in Germany. The company has a total of four offshore wind projects in Germany and the United Kingdom. These projects enable it to power more than one million homes in Europe. It is also the second biggest natural gas supplier in the country.
Markedly, the offshore wind market is rapidly growing in Europe and other parts of the world. Last year, 2.6-gigawatts offshore capacity was installed in Europe alone. Apart from Equinor, big European energy companies like Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A, Eni S.p.A. E, BP p.l.c. BP and others are also looking to generate high value from renewable sources in the long term. Investing in renewables will also help the energy companies to reduce carbon emissions.
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