GIB/Marubeni buy Westermost 50%

Dong Energy is selling a 50% stake in its 210MW Westermost Rough offshore wind project – with the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Japanese conglomerate Marubeni taking a 25% share each in a deal worth a total of about £500m ($832m).

In a separate transaction, the UK government-backed GIB is also spending £220m to buy a 10% stake in the 576MW Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm being built off north Wales by RWE Innogy.

In the case of Westermost Rough, a Dong statement said: “After the joint venture has been established all shareholders will contribute on a pro-rata basis to future funding and sharing of the risks related to the construction of the project.”

Danish power giant Dong will handle O&M services under a long-term agreement.

The Dong statement said: “Furthermore, the parties have agreed that DONG Energy will provide a route to market for the power production and green certificates arising out of Marubeni’s and UK Green Investment Bank’s combined 50% ownership interest.”

Westermost Rough is due for completion in the first half of next year and will use Siemens 6MW turbines.

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “The UK has ambitious plans to build on its position as a world leader in offshore wind. We have two roles to play in supporting those plans.

“Firstly, to directly invest to help developers recycle their capital into the next wave of new renewable energy projects. Secondly, to invest on fully commercial terms to create a demonstration effect which others will follow.”

Marubeni has made several forays into European offshore wind, including buying a 49.8% stake in Dong’s 172MW Gunfleet Sands UK project in 2011.

UK industry body RenewableUK said it is significant that the GIB is backing offshore projects pre-completion for the first time.

“It’s great to see the GIB moving in at an earlier stage of offshore wind development," said deputy chief executive Maf Smith: "Offshore wind requires a lot of capital up front, so investment at an earlier stage helps industry manage risk which in turn will help deliver cost savings to this sector.

"It’s also pleasing that the GIB expects the proceeds of both to be reinvested in the UK."