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£120m sale of gas exploration interests to support SSE’s renewables and networks businesses

Image: SSE.

Image: SSE.

SSE is to continue to focus on renewables and networks as it sells all of its interests in its portfolio of gas exploration and production assets.

Having sold them to Viaro Energy for a total consideration of £120 million, SSE’s finance director Gregor Alexander said it “represents further progress” on the company’s strategy to refocus its investment on its core networks and renewables businesses. As part of this, it is targeting an investment of £7.5 billion in low carbon energy infrastructure over the next five years.

“We have said for some time that gas exploration and production assets are inconsistent with our future ambitions and vision to be a leading energy company in a net-zero world,” Alexander added.

So far, SSE has secured over £1.4 billion from the disposal of non-core assets as part of its £2 billion-plus programme by autumn 2021. Its sale of its interests in its gas exploration and production assets follows agreements to sell its share in energy-from-waste venture Multifuel Energy for £995 million, its non-operating stake in Walney Offshore Wind Farm for £350 million and its equity interest in meter asset provider MapleCo for £90 million.

As part of this most recent transaction, SSE will retain an obligation to pay 60% of the decommissioning costs.

It comes after Drax announced last week the sale of its four CCGT assets to allow it to focus on its bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) production, with the £193.3 million sale to support plans to expand its supply chain to five million tonnes of self-supply capacity by 2027 and reduce the cost of biomass to £50/MWh.

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