Innogy sells stake in $2.6 billion wind project to Japanese firms

FILE PHOTO: Innogy logo in Essen, Germany, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German energy group Innogy IGY.DE will sell a 41 percent stake in its 2 billion pound ($2.6 billion) offshore wind farm Triton Knoll to Japan's Electric Power Development Co 9513.T and Kansai Electric Power Co 9503.T, it said on Monday.

The move helps Innogy secure funding for the project, which will result in one of Europe’s largest offshore wind farms, and gives the Japanese firms a stake in a regulated energy infrastructure asset on the continent.

Electric Power Development Co, which is operating under the name J-Power, will take a 25 percent stake while Kansai Electric will get 16 percent. Innogy will remain majority owner of the 860 megawatt project with a remaining stake of 59 percent.

“As we continue to grow our offshore portfolio across the globe, the securing of valued, strategic partnerships is a key objective within our strategy,” Innogy board member Hans Buenting said. “The signed agreement highlights the attractiveness of our offshore development projects.”

JP Renewable Europe Company, through which J-Power will participate in the deal, will procure a part of its funds by issuing preferred equity to Development Bank of Japan Inc [DBJPN.UL], Innogy said.

Innogy said it expects the debt funding of the Triton Knoll project, to be located 32 kilometers off the coast of Lincolnshire and large enough to power 800,000 British households, to close in the third quarter of 2018.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan