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Keen interest in £1.15bn UK transmission assets

A host of infrastructure funds are lining up in the race to acquire nine high-voltage electricity transmission assets. UK regulator Ofgem, which is handling the sale, expects to announce the winning bidders in early 2010.

13 bidders have been selected to take part in an auction for over £1.15 billion (€1.25 billion; $1.8 billion) of electricity transmission assets in the UK.

The tender process, which is being handled by UK energy regulator Ofgem, will see the firms bid to own and operate nine high-voltage electricity links with offshore windfarms. The nine projects have a combined asset value of over £1.15 billion and combined capacity of 2,064 megawatts.

Ofcom said in a statement over £15 billion of total investment is required in the UK’s transmission links to offshore windfarms.

bidders in the

The 13 bidders for the assets are ABN Amro Infrastructure Capital Management, Balfour Beatty Capital, DONG Energy Sales and Distribution, Equitix/ AMP, ESB International, Frontier Power/ Infracapital Partners, Imera, Macquarie Capital Group, National Grid Offshore, RWE Npower, SSE Offshore Transmission, Stakraft UK/ StatoilHydro UK Holdings and International Public Partnerships/ Transmission Capital/ Amber Infrastructure Limited.

Only one of the nine assets, located off Barrow, is currently operational. One of the assets still in development, the 504-megawatt Greater Gabbard project, being developed by SSE/Airtricity and RWE Innogy, has the highest estimated value of the assets, at £344 million.

Winning bidders for the assets are expected to be selected in March or April next year.

A second round of contracts is then set to be put out to tender next summer.