Six contenders have qualified to bid for the offshore grid linking Dong and ScottishPower's 389MW West of Duddon Sands wind project, including two new players who have not previously competed for UK offshore transmission assets.
To date, all six 20-year
licenses awarded to operate offshore links have gone to two players –
Transmission Capital Partners and Blue Transmission.
That duopoly, as well as the
terms offered to bidders, led an influential group of Members of
Parliament to last month criticise the Offshore Transmission Owner
(OFTO) regime as being uncompetitive and representing
poor value for British taxpayers.
UK energy-market regulator
Ofgem seized on the inclusion of two new players – John Laing
Investments and Skanska – as evidence that such criticism is off the
“The strong interest in
competing for the West of Duddon Sands transmission assets is further
proof that the offshore regime is successfully encouraging investment,
attracting new players and ensuring competition in
the offshore transmission sector,” says Ofgem E-Serve managing director
The bidders for the West of Duddon Sands transmission assets, worth an estimated £311m ($474m), are:
*Balfour Beatty Equitix consortium.
*Blue Transmission –
comprising Macquarie Capital Group, Barclays Infrastructure Funds
Management, Mitsubishi Corporation and Frontier Power
*John Laing Investments
*National Grid Offshore
Partners – comprising Transmission Capital Partners Limited Partnership
and International Public Partnerships
In the next step, Ofgem will short-list a handful of companies invited to formally bid on the links. Ofgem is currently
undertaking the second “transitional” OFTO tender, worth a collective
The third, so-called “enduring” tender will commence later this
West of Duddon Sands is due to enter service in the Irish Sea in 2014.