Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BP shelves sale of 2.6GW wind energy arm

A turbine blade is being raised at one of two wind farms BP and Sempra have invested in developing. (Ecoseed)

Energy giant BP has scrapped plans to sell a 2.6GW portfolio of US wind power projects, after failing to secure a high enough offer.

BP put up the "for sale" sign on its US wind farm operation at the start of April, announcing it was seeking to focus on its core oil and gas business. The portfolio includes 16 operating wind farms in nine states plus another 2GW pipeline of projects in various stages of development.

The sale was also part of a $38bn asset sell-off programme designed in part to cover the costs the company is facing as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.

But according to reports, the company had been considering holding onto the portfolio after failing to attract a suitable bidder, and it today confirmed the U-turn in its second quarter results.

A spokesman for BP told Reuters that it did not secure an offer that it thought was high enough for the assets. The portfolio was reported to be worth between $1.5bn and $2bn.

"Our feeling is that the business is more valuable to us than to others. We had a number of bids, but we decided now is not the right time to sell," he told the news agency.

In an emailed statement to BusinessGreen, BP hinted the company could revisit the sale plan in the future, noting that it had opted not to sell its 16 wind farms "at this time".

"Despite receiving a number of bids, the company has determined that now is not the right time to sell the business," he said.

"Our focus will remain on safely maximizing the financial and operational performance of the existing assets."

In other energy industry news, French energy giant EDF used its latest financial announcement to confirm it is planning to sell its stake in a US nuclear development venture.

Chief executive Henri Proglio said that following the drop in energy prices caused by the US shale gas boom the company would offload its stake in CENG, the joint venture it set up with US energy giant Exelon.

However, he insisted that a similar withdrawal was not on the cards in the UK where he said the company was continuing to work with the government on plans for a new nuclear plant. 

Syndicated from Business Green

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