A Shell-led consortium is looking to sell of their stake in two wind farms off the coast of the Netherlands.

The same projects, totalling a capacity of 700 MW are expected to cost $1.4bn to develop. Two unnamed sources privy to the information told the Independent that Shell, Eneco and Mitsubishi want to sell as much as 45 per cent of their shares in the Borssele III and IV wind farms, allowing the companies to scale back financial exposure, while redeploying the cash in new projects with the potential for higher returns.
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The fourth partner, infrastructure contractor Van Oord NV, is keeping its share of the project.

Shell’s strategy is to focus on developing the early stages of gigantic wind farms and avoid holding the assets as long term operations, which offers a steady but slower payback.

“This is part of a planned assessment by the consortium on how to best fund the project and future offshore wind projects for the long term,” Eneco said in a statement Monday, which Shell said it and the other partners endorsed.

Shell and its partners won a contract to build the facilities 14 miles off the port city of Zeeland in the Netherlands last December, beating 26 other bidders in a government auction for power-generation capacity. It is the company’s first foray into offshore wind power.

Bloomberg have calculated that a 45 per cent stake may be worth roughly $630m. One of the people familiar with the deal said Shell has 50 per cent, Eneco 30 per cent, and both Van Oord and Mitsubishi each have 10 per cent.

The companies are currently running the sale process and expect to wrap it up before the end of the year.