Masdar, the UAE state-owned renewables firm, has acquired a 49% stake in a major UK wind project in the North Sea.
Signed on the sidelines of the COP28 conference in Dubai, Masdar is farming into the Dogger Bank South (DBS) wind farm, operated by Germany’s RWE, around 60 miles off the coast of England.
Masdar said they will jointly invest £11bn on the massive project.
RWE will remain operator with a 51% stake having sold Masdar the remainder, expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.
The three gigawatt DBS is planned to be capable of powering up to three million UK homes and creating up to 3,000 jobs.
Construction “could start as early as end 2025” said Masdar, with the first 800MW planned to come online in 2029.
DNS is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2031.
UAE industry minister, Masdar chairman and COP28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, said: “As one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, the Dogger Bank South project will make a huge impact on reducing emissions while supplying millions of UK families and businesses with clean, affordable and secure energy.”
Masdar said it builds on the £10bn UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership to invest in technology, infrastructure and the energy transition.
RWE CEO Markus Krebber added: “We’re delighted to welcome Masdar onboard as our partner and co-investor in the delivery of our Dogger Bank South projects which, at 3GW in size, make up RWE’s largest offshore wind development in the UK.
“With Masdar, we have a strong and renowned partner at our side who shares our ambition to further drive the growth of offshore wind energy. In combination with RWE’s many years of experience in the development, construction and operation of offshore wind farms, we are in an excellent position to strongly support the decarbonisation of the UK.”
UAE agenda at COP
It comes as reports this week highlighted plans by the UAE to use the COP28 conference to push energy deals for Masdar and the state-backed oil and gas firm ADNOC, including exports of the latter’s hydrocarbons.
Leaked documents were reported by the BBC and the Centre for Climate Reporting alleged Sultan Al Jaber, who presides over the conference as president, would raise commercial issues with nearly 30 countries.