Exclusive: TotalEnergies considering stake in world's largest offshore wind farm

622
2

- TotalEnergies SE is weighing taking a stake in what will be the world's largest offshore wind farm, according to people familiar with the matter, as the French oil major continues to develop its green credentials.

The Paris-based TotalEnergies would buy a roughly 20% stake in the third phase of the Dogger Bank wind project in the North Sea, which was developed by U.K. listed SSE Plc and Norway's Equinor ASA, they said.

The discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have been made on the size of any stake purchase, according to those who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.

Offshore wind farms have become coveted assets among investors and energy companies looking to buy into the transition away from fossil fuels. The 3.6-Gitawatt Dogger Bank project will provide enough low carbon electricity for up to 6 million U.K. homes when it can be completed later in this decade.

SSE and Equinor have divided the project into three 1.2 gigawatt sections and sold a combined 20% stake in the first two phases for the Italian oil company Eni SpA to SSE for 405 million pounds. Both firms are each expected to sell 10% in the third phase of Bloomberg News report on March 2.

A representative of TotalEnergies declined to comment on the decision. A representative of SSE declined to comment on specific deals, saying that the group expects to make progress on the sale this year, as previously stated.

'We have previously said that divestment is part of our strategy to create value and return within offshore wind, said a spokesman for Equinor, who also declined to comment on specific deals.

As well as being an attractive way to build low carbon generation portfolios, top wind farms also allow oil companies to leverage their decades of experience at sea.

TotalEnergies has an impressive start in the race between Europe's oil supermajorities to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, having acquired the most renewable electricity for its portfolio, Bloomberg News reported previously. Last year it bought a further SSE offshore wind farm with a 70 million-pound investment in Seagreen 1 in Scotland, a deal that marked its first significant foray into such assets.

Its rivals have made similar moves. BP Plc also took a $1.1 billion stake in two development stage wind farms in the U.S. last year while Royal Dutch Shell Plc won rights alongside Eneco NV to develop a zero-subsidy project off the coast of the Netherlands.

Shares in TotalEnergies have risen 11.3% in the last 12 months giving it a market value of about 99.5 billion euro.