Italian oil major Eni has bought a 20% stake in the massive Dogger Bank C offshore wind project in the UK from Norwegian energy giant Equinor and British utility SSE Renewables.

Eni will take equal 10% stake from Equinor and and SSE in the 1.2-gigawatt project, reducing their respective stakes to 40% each — the same percentages as in Dogger Bank’s other two phases Dogger Bank A and B.

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Eni will enter the asset effective from the financial close of project financing which is expected before end of this year. The farm down transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, subject to regulatory and lenders approvals and customary purchase price adjustments.

Equinor said it will obtain an equity consideration of about £70 million ($95.3 million) for its 10% stake.

“Through this important transaction we continue to accelerate our growth strategy in renewable energy, as well as strengthening our presence in the offshore wind market in Northern Europe, one of the most promising and stable markets in the world,” Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi said.

Dogger Bank C is the third phase of the world’s largest offshore wind array (3.6GW for all three phases) currently under construction. Production of the first phase is slated to start in 2023, with the other phases following in 2024 and 2025.

Once completed, Dogger Bank is expected to generate about 18 terawatt hours of clean energy, enough to meet 5% of the UK’s total electricity demand.

Equinor and SSE had secured contract for difference (CfD) support for Dogger Bank at a 2019 tendering round. The first two phases of the giant project had already reached a financial close last year.

“Dogger Bank is the largest wind farm in the world under construction,” said Pal Eitrheim, executive vice president for renewables at Equinor.

“Together with SSE Renewables we are pleased to continue with Eni as an industrial partner for all three phases of the windfarm.

“Together we will deliver value to the UK for years to come and help drive towards a net zero emissions future for the UK.”

(This article first appeared in Upstream's renewable energy sister publication Recharge on 2 November, 2021)