New Capacity Lifts DONG Energy’s Wind Division

Burbo Bank Extension. Image source: MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

DONG Energy has recorded a 32% increase in earnings from operating offshore wind farms in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same period a year earlier.

Power generation from offshore wind increased by 34%, to 3.9TWh in H1 2017, as a result of newly constructed and commissioned offshore wind farms in Germany and the UK – the 258MW Burbo Bank Extension and the 582MW Gode 1 and 2. Offshore wind power accounted for 45% of the company’s total power generation.

The 573MW Race Bank offshore wind farm in the UK produced its first power during the period as well.

Revenue in the company’s Wind Division stood at DKK 10.9 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) in the first half of 2017, with gross investments reaching DKK 5.9 billion.

The division’s underlying operating profit (EBITDA) for the period was DKK 6.3 billion, as compared to DKK 5.2 billion reported in H1 2016.

Wind conditions were close to the norm in the first half of 2017, DONG said, and the availability of offshore wind farms was high, resulting in solid earnings from the company’s existing wind farms.

Following the agreement to divest 50% of the company’s ownership interest in the German offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 2 in 2017 instead of in 2018, DONG raised its 2017 EBITDA guidance for the continuing operations from DKK 15-17 billion to DKK 17-19 billion. This corresponds to an underlying growth of 18-32%.

The company’s gross investments for 2017 are still expected to amount to DKK 18-20 billion.

”Within one to two years we will likely have excess investment capacity compared to the target rating of BBB+/Baa1, assuming the current dividend policy, the current farm down model, the current Wind Power build out plan as well as the ambition of a 1 GW per year offshore wind build out from 2021-2025 are continued,” Henrik Poulsen, DONG Energy’s CEO and President, said.

”The likely excess investment capacity materialises as more and more Wind Power assets come on line and start generating cash flow and has recently been positively impacted by the experienced decline in the build out cost per MW (LCoE). Value-enhancing, green growth opportunities beyond the current investment plan will thus be explored against tight strategic and financial criteria. This could naturally include additional opportunities within offshore wind – which remains our core focus – as well as other renewable technologies and within our downstream, customer-facing business.”

Following the farm down of Borkum Riffgrund 2 and the expected farm downs of Walney Extension and Hornsea 1, DONG Energy will only consider farm downs subject to substantial value creation and risk diversification, Poulsen said.

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