France

France

Developers looking to sell French sites

FRANCE: Engie and EDPR are reportedly seeking to reduce their holdings in the Dieppe Le-Treport and Les Iles d'Yeu et Noirmoutier projects, each 496MW.

Adwen's 8MW turbine is slated to be used at both projects
Adwen's 8MW turbine is slated to be used at both projects

The developers were awarded the licences for the projects in 2014's second offshore wind tender.

The two companies, which hold 47% and 43% respectively, intend to sell up to 20-30% of their joint stake, according to sources close to the matter.

French developer Neoen Marine was also part of the original consortium, but sold its 10% share to the state-owned investment company Caisse des Depots last year.

Given the size of the projects, costing around €2 billion each, including grid connection, the desire to seek additional partners is understandable.

For potential investors, a tariff of around €200/MWh guaranteed for 20 years also provides an attractive draw.

On the other hand, neither project is fully permitted yet and may well face legal challenges.

The first-round projects are still going through the courts, and opponents recently launched a complaint claiming that France's offshore projects are in breach of EU law.

Nevertheless, there appears to be plenty of interest, with China Three Gorges being cited as one of the likely candidates by the financial journal Les Echos. The company is already a shareholder in EDPR.

Legal firm Norton Rose Fulbright has "received a lot of calls from potential investors seeking advice, in particular in relation to existing and potential legal challenges against the authorisations," said senior associate Amandine Delsaux.

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