Today, Orsted’s Board of Directors approved the interim report for the first nine months (9M) of 2020. Our operating profit (EBITDA) amounted to DKK 13.1 billion, a 2% increase compared to the same period last year.
Earnings from offshore and onshore wind farms in operation increased by 16% to DKK 11.6 billion driven by the ramp-up of power generation from Hornsea 1, Borssele 1 & 2, Lockett, Sage Draw, and Plum Creek.
In August, we closed the divestment of our Danish power distribution, residential customer, and city light businesses. The transaction resulted in a gain of DKK 11.1 billion. As a result, net profit amounted to DKK 14.6 billion.
Return on capital employed (ROCE) came in at 9%.
The green share of our heat and power generation increased from 83% to 89%.
Our EBITDA guidance is unchanged relative to the guidance in our interim financial report for H1 2020, and thus we reiterate our EBITDA guidance of DKK 16-17 billion in 2020. We maintain our expectations for gross investments of DKK 28-30 billion in 2020.
Henrik Poulsen, CEO and President of Orsted, says:
“Despite the tenacious COVID-19 pandemic, our operations and financial performance in Q3 remain stable and fully in line with our expectations from the beginning of the year.
In Q3 2020, we reached an important strategic milestone for Orsted as we completed our portfolio transformation into a global renewable energy company with the divestment of our Danish power distribution (Radius), residential customer, and city light businesses to the Danish energy company SEAS-NVE.
The construction of offshore wind, onshore wind, and solar PV assets across the globe is progressing satisfactorily, despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Q3, we commissioned our onshore wind farm Willow Creek in Nebraska, US, and installed the last wind turbine at our offshore wind farm Borssele 1 & 2 in the Netherlands.
We took final investment decision on the onshore wind farm Western Trail in Texas in September. The greenfield project has a capacity of 367MW, is eligible for 100% PTC, and is expected to be commissioned during Q3 2021.
In addition, we acquired Haystack, a 298MW onshore wind development project in Nebraska, in October. The late-stage project further expands our portfolio in the SPP region. Haystack is expected to be commissioned during Q4 2021 and is also eligible for 100% PTC.
In October, we have submitted bids in the up to 2.5GW auction in New York. We expect to receive the outcome of the auction before year end.
Together with Yara, the world’s leading fertilizer company, we have launched a joint renewable hydrogen project in the Netherlands. The project will include a 100MW electrolyser plant generating renewable hydrogen based on Ørsted’s offshore wind farms. The renewable hydrogen will replace fossil-based hydrogen in the production of green ammonia at Yara’s ammonia manufacturing facility with the potential to abate more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
In mid-October, the Renescience plant in Northwich, UK, was successfully commissioned after passing the final performance test. With the commissioning of Renescience, we reached an important milestone, and we will now continue to monitor the plant’s performance, while exploring the broader commercial potential of the waste treatment technology.
In September, the Board of Directors appointed Mads Nipper my successor as CEO of Orsted. Mads is a highly accomplished leader, and with his visionary thinking and strategic skills, Orsted’s continued global expansion is in very good hands. It has been an exceptional privilege to be part of the Orsted team over the past eight years. This will be my last report as CEO, and therefore I will conclude by expressing my deepest gratitude to Orsted’s shareholders, the Board of Directors, the management team and not least Orsted’s employees for their relentless pursuit of our vision and their confidence and support during my tenure.”