Sumitomo Corporation have completed the purchase of shares in two offshore wind farm projects (Belwind and Northwind) off the coast of Belgium from Parkwind NV (Parkwind).
Parkwind is jointly controlled by its shareholders Colruyt Group, Korys, the investment holding of the Colruyt family, and the Flemish investment fund PMV.
The Belwind project is located on the Bligh Bank in the Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone of the North Sea, approximately 46km off the coast of Belgium and has a production capacity of 165MW. The Northwind project is also located in the North Sea, on the Lodewijk Bank, approximately 37km off the Belgian coast and has a capacity of 216MW.
The Belwind project has been in operation since late 2010. The construction of the Northwind project was completed at the end of June 2014 and is now also in operation. The project cost for Belwind was c.650mil Euro and the project cost for Northwind was c.850mil.
The two wind farms comprise of 127 wind turbines that are based on monopile foundations. The turbines used in the wind parks are the Vestas V90 for Belwind and the V112 – manufactured by MHI Vestas which is a joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Vestas – for Northwind. The electricity generated is sold through long term agreements to Electrabel and corresponds to the needs of approximately 370,000 households.
Sumitomo acquired a 39.02% stake in the Belwind project and a 30.00% stake in the Northwind project. Furthermore, Sumitomo and Parkwind are working together on the development of the Nobelwind project, a 165MW offshore wind farm adjacent to the Belwind wind farm.
The global wind power generation market is expected to quadruple by 2025 and about 10% of the market is expected to come from offshore projects. The Belgian projects will be the first offshore wind farm projects that Sumitomo has undertaken worldwide.
However, Sumitomo has extensive experience in the operation of onshore wind farms in Japan, the US and South Africa. As of September 2014, Sumitomo has a total power generating capacity of 6,396 MW, of which about 13% or 838 MW are wind assets. Sumitomo considers the European offshore wind market a priority and is looking to expand its portfolio in this field, ensuring a cleaner environment now and for future generations.