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Shell Reportedly To Seek Sale Of Stake In $1.4 Bln Wind Farm

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS-B,RDSB.L,RDSA.L,RDS-A) and its partners Eneco Holdings NV and Mitsubishi Corp. are seeking to sell a stake in two Dutch offshore wind-farm projects that may cost $1.4 billion to develop, Bloomberg reported people familiar with the matter.

The report noted that the companies are looking to reduce their ownership in the Borssele III and IV wind farms by as much as 45 percent. The fourth partner, infrastructure contractor Van Oord NV, is keeping its share of the project.

The move would allow the companies to scale back financial exposure to the wind farms and redeploy the cash in new projects with the potential for higher returns. Shell has said only that it is trying to draw in additional investors, refusing to detail what that may entail. Its strategy is to focus on developing the early stages of gigantic wind farms and avoid holding the assets as long term operations, which offers a steady but slower payback.

With a combined capacity of 700 megawatts, the units may require investment of $1.4 billion by the time they are complete in 2020, according to estimates from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. By those calculations, a 45 percent stake may be worth roughly $630 million.

None of the companies have disclosed their specific stakes in the project or their outlook for the total investment required. Shell has 50 percent, Eneco 30 percent, and both Van Oord and Mitsubishi each have 10 percent, the report said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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