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Statkraft Eyes Domestic Wind Investments

Posted by February 4, 2016

Norway's Statkraft is still considering investing in a 1,000-megawatt (MW) onshore wind power development at home despite scaling back its international ambitions to pay a full dividend, its chief executive said.

Statkraft confirmed on Thursday it will not longer invest in offshore wind power projects, a decision that affects its planned participation in the Triton Knoll and Dogger Bank projects off Britain.

The state-owned utility said it had to cancel investments because the government required it to pay a full dividend, revising a previous decision to allow Statkraft to retain 5 billion Norwegian crowns ($588 million) during 2016-2018.

"As a consequence of the reduced investment capacity, Statkraft, will no longer invest in new offshore wind projects," Christian Rynning-Toennesen said, when presenting its full-year results for 2015.

Statkraft announced on Thursday the suspension of a 517 MW hydropower project in southeastern Turkey due to security concerns after fighting between security forces and Kurdish militants resumed last year.

The company wrote down 2.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($245.50 million) as a result, driving its full-year result to a net loss of 2.4 billion crowns compared with a net profit of 3.9 billion crowns in 2014, it said.

Statkraft, however, still had "sufficient financial capacity" to invest in an onshore wind power development in Norway, if it decides to do so, Rynning-Toennesen said.

The 1,000 MW wind power development in central Norway, consisting of several wind parks, was previously estimated to cost more than 10 billion crowns, with Statkraft taking more than 50 percent.

"We are not scrapping this project, we are still looking at it and planning to take the final investment decision during the first quarter of this year," he told Reuters.

Last June, Statkraft said it was cancelling investments in onshore wind in Norway because low power price made it unprofitable, but later had second thoughts after criticism from the government.

Nordic spot power prices hit a 15-year low last year due to warm weather, sluggish demand and increase in renewables.

In 2012, Norway and Sweden joined forces to support new renewables by launching the world's first cross-border support scheme, but majority of new capacities were built in Sweden.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis

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