OSLO (Reuters) - Danske Commodities, a power and gas trading firm owned by oil major Equinor (EQNR.OL), has expanded its operations to the United States, completing its first trade on the PJM wholesale power market, it said on Thursday.
The trade, which Danske Commodities called a milestone, extended the company’s reach to 39 countries and was part of a strategy to expand globally, adding to the European and Australian markets that the firm is currently active in.
“The price drivers are very similar to those in our current core markets, and that also applies to risk and return characteristics, so there is a good fit with our business model and capabilities,” Danske’s Chief Executive Helle Oestergaard Kristiansen said.
The company launched its U.S. operation with three employees based in Equinor’s Connecticut office, Danske’s global head of power trading Jesper Tronborg told Reuters, declining to disclose the size of the initial trade.
In the last two months Danske Commodities has signed three multi-year power purchase agreements to manage part of the production of offshore wind farms in Britain in which Equinor has a stake.
In July, Equinor also won a bid to develop the Empire Wind farm, one of the largest offshore wind projects ever built in the U.S..
Construction offshore of New York will begin in 2022 with operations expected to start in 2024. It will have a capacity of 816 megawatts (MW).
“Danske Commodities’ call is to support Equinor’s investments in the new energy solutions whenever we can,” Tronborg said when asked if the firm will also manage output at the Empire Wind project.
Danske has taken over Equinor’s third-party gas trading, downstream gas storage positions and power trading activities including certificates trading as well as balancing and optimization of Equinor’s growing portfolio of renewable assets.
PJM is the largest wholesale power market in the United States, covering 13 states in the Eastern Interconnection, Danske added.
Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik and Kirsten Donovan