Offshore Wind Firm Ørsted's CEO Optimistic Biden Will Speed Up Permitting


Energy group Ørsted expects previously delayed U.S. wind farm projects to receive swifter approval under President Joe Biden's administration, the new chief executive of the Danish energy group said on Wednesday.

Mads Nipper, who took the helm of the company in January, made the comments as the company published full-year results in line with preliminary figures.

Ørsted, the world's largest offshore wind farm developer, hopes to drive development in the emerging U.S. wind market but has faced significant permitting delays on projects on the country's east coast.

The Biden administration, however, has touted the need for clean-energy sources and has taken the United States back into the 2015 Paris climate agreement after former president Donald Trump withdrew the country from the deal.

"We are seeing positive signs... with the new leadership and an addition of resources to BOEM," Nipper said, referring to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which handles federal permits for offshore wind farms.

Nipper, who joined Orsted from Danish industrial group Grundfos, said on a media call Biden's green stance, along with extended tax credits, gave him confidence in the long-term potential of the U.S. market.

On Wednesday, Orsted posted full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 18.1 billion Danish crowns ($2.93 billion), up 4% on the year before.

After an initial rise at the market open, shares in Orsted traded down 0.21% at 1019 GMT.

The company also maintained its previously announced guidance for 2021 of EBITDA of 15-16 billion crowns excluding new partnership agreements.

($1 = 6.1818 Danish crowns) 

(Reporting by Tim Barsoe. Editing by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, Edmund Blair, Mark Potter and Barbara Lewis)

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