The Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo plans to invest over 100 million euros in the Belwind and Northwind wind farms off the coast of Zeebruges. These renewable energy projects which are controlled by the distribution group Colruyt could accelerate the development of wind energy in the North Sea.
Sumitomo is investing in Parkwind, the holding company of the Colruyt group. The large Japanese concern will join other partners in Parkwind such as Rabo and Meewind in Belwind and Aspiravi for Northwind.
Since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011, Japanese companies are investing heavily in renewable energy abroad, especially in order to obtain access to the European know-how
Colruyt is the first Belgian investor in the offshore wind sector and has already spent about 120 million euros. The additional funding in Parkwind will help investment to continue.
“With this Japanese investment, we can double the capacity of Belwind, a park that already produces 165 megawatts. On the other hand, we now have an industrial partner that allows us to bring our experience to the next level, “says Wim Biesemans who runs Belwind.
“Sumitomo is not yet present on the European market, which is why the conglomerate entered into a partnership with us,” added Biesemans.
In Belgium, Sumitomo is already active in chemicals, real estate and processors. The Japanese conglomerate has the other offshore wind farms in the United States and South Africa.