Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announced the disposal of an 80% interest in the Thanet offshore transmission project (“Thanet OFTO”) for £40 million ($61.7 million).
Thanet OFTO is the high-voltage electricity transmission system connecting the 300MW Thanet Wind Farm, off the coast of Kent, to the onshore transmission grid. Assets include one offshore and one onshore substation and over 50 kilometres of subsea cables which are operated and maintained by Balfour Beatty’s Services division under a 20 year licence granted by the energy regulator Ofgem. The wind farm generates enough electricity for approximately 200,000 homes each year.
The 80% interest in Thanet OFTO is being acquired by funds managed by Equitix, a market leading investor and fund manager of core infrastructure assets. Balfour Beatty has co-invested with Equitix on a number of infrastructure projects, including the Greater Gabbard OFTO project, which achieved financial close in November 2013 and the Gwynt y Môr OFTO project, which is expected to achieve financial close in February 2015.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “This disposal validates the Directors’ Valuation of the Investments Portfolio, which was updated last month, and clearly demonstrates the Investment business’s ongoing ability to deliver significant value for the Group. The OFTO sector remains a key market, which is why we have retained 20% ownership in Thanet, and we look forward to working with our partner, Equitix, to ensure the long term success of this project.”