Insurance group Crédit Agricole Assurances and AXA Group’s alternative investments business AXA IM Alts announced an agreement to jointly acquire a 50% ownership stake in the Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind in the UK from energy developer and producer Ørsted. The transaction is valued at £3 billion (approximately $3.9 billion), and AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances each own 25% of the project.
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.”
The Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm is currently under construction 89 km off the UK’s Yorkshire coast, spanning an offshore area of 462 km², and featuring 165 8 MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines. Upon completion, the project will be capable of generating 1.32 GW of clean electricity, sufficient to power more than 1.3 million homes, which would make it the world’s largest operating offshore wind farm.
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 11 GW installed capacity by 2025.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Ørsted will finalize the construction of the project and will provide long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) services for 20 years. Ørsted will also provide AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances with balancing services and a long-term route to market for the renewable electricity generated from the project.
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.”