Danish utility Ørsted has struck a deal to divest a 50% ownership stake in its 1.3 GW Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm in the UK to a consortium comprising AXA IM Alts, acting on behalf of clients, and Crédit Agricole Assurances.
Hornsea 2 is currently under construction and will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once commissioned later in 2022. The total value of the transaction is £3bn ($3.95bn), and is expected to close in the second half of 2022 once the wind farm is fully commissioned.
AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances will then each own 25% of the project. The investors’ 50% stake in Hornsea 2 will be funded through a combination of equity and a senior multi-tranche staple financing package provided by 30 banks and including a covered tranche guaranteed by EKF, Denmark’s export credit agency. The financing package was originated and structured by Ørsted.
Spanning an offshore area of 462 sq km, Hornsea 2 is located 89 km off the Yorkshire coast in the Hornsea zone, one of the world’s largest offshore wind development areas. The wind farm will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.3m homes annually.
Ørsted is finalising the construction of the project and will provide long-term operations and maintenance services for 20 years from its base at the Port of Grimsby. Furthermore, Ørsted said it would provide the incoming partners with balancing services and a long-term route to market for the renewable electricity generated from Hornsea 2.