Danish energy firm Ørsted is selling a 50% stake in the Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm project in the UK to AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole in a £3bn (€3.5bn) deal.

AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole will fund their investment through a combination of equity and a senior multi-tranche staple financing package.

Following the deal, expected to close in the second half of 2022, AXA IM Alts and Credit Agricole will each own a 25% stake in Hornsea 2, the 1.3GW project which is to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once commissioned later this year.

Spanning an offshore area of 462sqkm, Hornsea 2 is located 89km off the Yorkshire coast in the Hornsea zone.

Martin Neubert, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Group CEO at Ørsted, said: “We’re delighted to partner with AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances, two world-leading financial institutions, which are committed to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral economy in line with the Paris Agreement – thereby supporting the urgently needed shift from fossil-based to renewable energy sources.”

Mark Gilligan, Head of Infrastructure Equity at AXA IM Alts, said: “Our investment strategy is all about decarbonisation, electrification, and digitalisation. These are central to the energy transition. Hornsea 2 allows us to play an important role in decarbonising and electrifying the United Kingdom.

”This landmark transaction aligns with our aim of acquiring, for our clients, utility-scale low-carbon essential businesses and being a long-term partner of choice for outstanding operators like Ørsted.”

Philippe Dumont, CEO of Crédit Agricole Assurances, said: “We’re proud to announce this new partnership in favour of the energy transition. This investment in Hornsea 2, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is fully in line with Crédit Agricole Group’s climate commitments.

”This operation will also contribute to Crédit Agricole Assurances’ objectives to double its investments in renewable energies and reach an 11GW installed capacity by 2025.”

Duncan Clark, the head of region UK at Ørsted, said: “We’re very much looking forward to working with our new partners and continuing to support the UK’s commitment to decarbonise electricity by 2035. Ørsted has invested more than £14bn in the UK to date, and when Hornsea 2 becomes fully operational later this year, our wind farms will be supplying over 7 % of Britain’s electricity.

”We’re now focused on helping the UK deliver on its 40GW and Sector Deal target for offshore wind by 2030, a significant milestone in the energy transition that will deliver more than £60bn of investment for the UK while supporting the UK’s world-class offshore wind supply chain and more than 40,000 jobs over the next few years.”

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