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TotalEnergies invests $25m in Xlinks

TotalEnergies has joined Octopus and Taqa in funding the Xlinks renewables project Reuters/Mohamed Azakir
TotalEnergies has joined Octopus and Taqa in funding the Xlinks renewables project
  • Xlinks running Morocco-UK project
  • Octopus and Taqa are also investors
  • Overall budget is £22bn

TotalEnergies announced on Wednesday that it has invested £20 million ($25.4 million) to acquire a minority stake in Xlinks, the company overseeing the £22 billion Morocco-UK renewables project

The French oil and gas major joins fellow investors Octopus Energy and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), the UAE’s largest power producer, which gave a substantial vote of confidence to the Xlinks project in April with the announcement of AED113 million ($31 million) in funding

“TotalEnergies’ investment goes far beyond capital, providing a rare combination of expertise in areas that meet the unique challenges we face,” said Xlinks’ CEO Simon Morrish.  

“This marks a highly successful end to 2023 and will give us an even greater impetus to achieve our goals as we enter 2024.” 

Xlinks had been hoping to deliver the project for £18 billion but Morrish explained to AGBI last month that the budget had increased to around £22 billion, citing changes in supply chain costs, inflation and the exchange rate.

Vincent Stoquart, senior vice president of renewables at TotalEnergies, said: “This innovative project will benefit from our track record in developing large and complex integrated energy projects.”

Xlinks plans to build vast solar panel and wind farms in the Moroccan desert that could power more than seven million British homes by 2030 via the installation of high-voltage direct current (HDVC) subsea cables, coupled with large battery energy storage. 

In October, the Xlinks project was granted the status of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the UK’s new energy secretary, Claire Coutinho.

It is seeking a 25-year contract for differences – a financial contract that pays the differences in the settlement price between the open and closing trades – from the UK government to guarantee that British consumers would pay a set price for the electricity it produces, regardless of market prices.

In 2022, TotalEnergies generated more than 33 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, and had a gross renewable electricity generation installed capacity of 17 gigawatts. 

It has set a target to grow its power generation to more than 100 TWh by 2030, with the objective of being among the world’s top five producers of electricity from wind and solar energy.

Speaking at the Adipec conference in October, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné said that he expected the company’s LNG production to grow by almost 50 percent between 2022 and 2030.

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