‘We didn’t pay a premium’ – BP
CEO Bernard Looney denies overpaying for Irish Sea offshore wind leases
BP CEO Bernard Looney has rejected accusations that the company paid a hefty premium to secure coveted offshore wind licences in the Irish Sea. The sites are located in a privileged region that will reduce installation and maintenance costs, he said. But other bidders paid a lot less for nearby acreage.
Speaking at Reuters’ Global Energy Transition 2021 conference on Tuesday, Looney gave a forthright defence of BP’s bidding strategy in the Crown Estate’s fourth offshore wind leasing round in February.
“We didn’t pay a premium, we paid a good price for a good asset,” the BP CEO said. “It sounds like a premium because we paid more than we would have paid on the east coast in the North Sea... [but that’s like comparing] apples and oranges.”
BP picked up two 60-year Irish Sea leases of 1.5 GW each in 50:50 joint venture with German utility EnBW. One is located off the northern Welsh coast; the other is due west of Morecambe Bay.