OSLO Norway's state-owned power firm Statkraft will this month offer for sale its stakes in two wind farms off Britain's coast, Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon, and wants to complete a deal early in 2018, a spokesman for the firm said on Tuesday.
The company, Europe's leading producer of hydropower which has been hit by low power prices in the Nordic region, announced plans to divest its stakes in UK offshore wind farms last year but had given no timetable.
"We intend to launch the sales process before July, conclude towards the end of the year and potentially close early next year," Statkraft's spokesman Torbjoern Steen said.
Statkraft aims to sell its 40 percent stake in 317 megawatt (MW) capacity Sheringham Shoal, which started in 2012, and to sell its 30 percent stake in 402 MW Dudgeon, which is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2017.
The two Statoil-operated parks off Britain's Norfolk coast can supply more than 600,000 British homes with green energy.
Potential buyers of Statkraft's stakes could include a newly launched green energy fund set up by former chief executives of Norway's telecom firm Telenor and Sweden's energy firm Vattenfall, Jon Fredrik Baksaas and Lars G. Josefsson, Norwegian business daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported on Tuesday.
"We've been invited to bid. The holdings in the two offshore wind farms are believed to have a value of around 10 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.19 billion), which Statkraft in turn can invest in new renewable projects," Joergen M. Groenneberg, the fund's strategic adviser, told the daily.
It was not immediately possible to reach either of the two former company executives or their adviser for comment on the report.
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Alister Doyle and Edmund Blair)