OSLO (Reuters) - Equinor and SSE Renewables, expect to take the final investment decision on the first two phases of the Dogger Bank offshore project, the world’s largest wind farm, by the end of this year, the two partners said on Wednesday.
Equinor has made a commitment to continue investing in renewable energy to transform itself from an oil and gas producer to a “broad energy” company, while also cutting spending on oil and gas projects as demand has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 3.6-gigawatt (GW) wind farm off Britain’s northeast coast will potentially provide electricity to more than 4.5 million UK homes, and help Britain to achieve its goals to cut carbon emissions, Equinor said on its website.
The Norwegian oil company said the final investment decision on the Dogger Bank A and B phases would be made in late 2020, with the decision for the final phase due in 2021.
Total investments in the project are estimated at around 9 billion pounds ($11.05 billion) between 2020 and 2026.
Britain’s Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Projects like Dogger Bank will be a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
SSE Renewables and Equinor also said on Wednesday they had decided to build a multi-million pound facility at the port of Tyne to operate and maintain the Dogger Bank, located more than 130 kilometres from England’s North East coast, creating over 200 new jobs.
SSE Renewables, part of British energy company SSE Group, will be the project’s operator during the construction phase, while Equinor will operate the wind farm for its expected lifetime of more than 25 years when it is completed.
The project’s first phase is expected to start generating electricity in 2023.
Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis