Macquarie’s GIG sells Formosa I offshore wind farm stake and announces new venture

New venture Corio will progress existing GIG 15GW wind portfolio and target Americas, while Taiwan stake sold off

GIG has sold its stake in the Formosa I wind farm off the coast of Taiwan
GIG has sold its stake in the Formosa I wind farm off the coast of Taiwan

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has sold its entire stake in Formosa I International Investment as it also announced plans to launch a standalone specialist offshore wind business, Corio Generation (Corio).

GIG has sold its 25% stake in its Formosa I International Investment, which operates the Formosa 1 offshore wind farm off Taiwan's Miaoli County, comprising the 8MW Formosa 1 (pilot phase) Formosa 1 (pilot phase) (8MW) OffshoreTaiwan, Asia-Pacific Click to see full details and 120MW Formosa 1 Phase 2 Formosa 1 Phase 2 (120MW) Offshoreoff Miaoli, Taiwan, Asia-Pacific Click to see full details. The sale is to a Japanese consortium comprising Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Toho Gas, and Hokuriki Electric Power Company. MOL said the three companies are in the process of setting up a special purpose company in Taiwan.

"The transaction is expected to complete after all the necessary procedures including approvals from the Taiwanese authorities," MOL said. This will be the first investment for them outside Japan's offshore wind sector, it added.

Corio offshore plan

Meanwhile, GIG announced further details of its standalone offshore business.

Led by wind industry stalwarts Jonathan Cole as CEO and Samuel Leupold as chairman, Corio will be headquartered in the UK, with offices in London and Edinburgh. Its operations – taking over from GIG directly to progress its project pipeline of over 15 GW – are due to start in April 2022. Leupold will simultaneously maintain his position as GIG's chairman of offshore wind energy.

Some 100 staff will be transferred from GIG into the new business, with a further recruitment drive planned for the coming year. The existing portfolio they will oversee includes previously announced projects in the UK, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia. As well as moving these forward, Corio will seek new business opportunities in the market too, notably in the Americas, it said. Corio will "take projects from origination, through development and construction, and into operations", which will be "underpinned by access to long-term capital sourced both within Macquarie and from third parties", GIG said.

‘Unique opportunity'

Cole was previously head of offshore wind at Iberdrola. "I am hugely excited by this unique opportunity to lead a business that combines some of the world’s best financial and industrial expertise," he said. "I believe that Corio will play a significant role in accelerating the deployment of offshore wind around the world. From day one, we will be able to work with partners, suppliers and investors to deliver a major project pipeline that will not only provide vast quantities of clean affordable electricity but will also support thousands of green jobs.”

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