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Wind Of Change: Energy Giants Equinor & BP Give Offshore Wind Power Project Deal A Second Chance

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Equinor ASA EQNR penned a  swap deal with BP PLC BP to take full ownership of the Empire Wind lease and projects.

As per the deal, Equinor will also take BP’s 50% share of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) lease, subject to certain conditions.

Meanwhile, BP will fully own Beacon Wind Holdings LLC and the associated project company that holds the Astoria Gateway for Renewable Energy site and will become the operator of the Beacon Wind projects.

The transaction will be cash-neutral except for standard cash and working capital settlement.

The agreement allows both companies to pursue their respective priorities under their corporate strategies.

Following the deal signing, a bid was submitted for the Empire Wind 1 project in New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation round and it has also been agreed with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to terminate the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) Purchase and Sale Agreement for the Beacon Wind 1 project. 

“Empire Wind 1 is ready to deliver on New York’s climate and energy goals, with numerous permits and supplier contracts secured. The strong commitment by the state to develop this industry is reflected in the NY4 rapid rebid offering, providing an opportunity to improve value creation for the project,” said Molly Morris, senior vice president for Renewables in the Americas in Equinor.

The deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2024, subject to regulatory approval.

The transaction is expected to result in a combined reported loss estimated at about $200 million for Equinor, assuming a positive outcome of the NY4 solicitation, and will not impact adjusted earnings.

Post-deal closure, the asset will be fully consolidated into Equinor’s balance sheet and is expected to increase its capital expenditure to around $1.2 billion for 2024 and about $1.5 billion for 2025, before any project financing

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The development of Empire Wind 1 is contingent upon a positive result in the NY4 solicitation, and a final investment decision is projected in mid-2024.

Also Read: Equinor Waves Goodbye To Azerbaijan: Major Asset Handover Marks Strategic Shift For Oil Giant

Equinor says that the reset for Empire Wind 2 and the exit from Beacon Wind will reduce anticipated capital expenditure from 2027 to 2030.

Earlier this month, both companies terminated their Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) Agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Price Action: EQNR shares are trading lower by 0.69% to $28.65 and BP is higher by 0.74% at $35.41 premarket on the last check Friday.

Photo via Company

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