March 25, 2020 / 7:31 AM / 4 days ago

Offshore wind firm Orsted sticks to outlook despite virus uncertainty

FILE PHOTO - General view of the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off the coast of Blackpool, Britain September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Orsted (ORSTED.CO), the world’s biggest developer of offshore wind, said on Wednesday it was sticking with its outlook for this year despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The Danish company is in the midst of a $30 billion (25.44 billion pounds) investment programme in green energy as it seeks to become one of a handful of future “renewable majors”.

It said all of its assets remained fully operational and its construction projects were progressing according to plan.

It said it has 30 billion Danish crowns (3.67 billion pounds) in liquidity reserves which could support its operations and construction through 2020 and 2021 without further funding.

European power and gas prices have sunk to new lows as lockdowns due to coronavirus lower energy demand but Orsted said that it saw limited risk of being materially impacted.

“So far, power demand in our core markets is much less affected, and we cannot detect any changed pattern in the occurrence of negative wholesale power prices,” it said.

Orsted this month overtook Norwegian oil producer Equinor (EQNR.OL) as the most valuable energy company in the Nordics, highlighting the appeal to investors of renewables over fossil fuels.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; editing by Jason Neely

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