Parkwind has agreed a strategic partnership with the Japanese industrial group Sumitomo. As a result, the current investors in Parkwind and its management team, as well as the shareholders in Belwind and Northwind, can now count on the support of a strong partner for the future development of their offshore wind parks in the North Sea.

Following the necessary approval by the relevant regulatory bodies, Sumitomo will acquire an interest of 39% in Belwind and 33.3% in Northwind. Parkwind and Sumitomo, together with the other shareholders in Belwind, have also reached an agreement to collaborate on the second construction phase of the Belwind project. The current shareholders in Parkwind are the Colruyt Group, Korys NV, the investment holding of the Colruyt family, and the Flemish investment fund PMV.

By joining forces with this partner, Parkwind strengthens it possibilities for the successful production of sustainable energy from wind power at sea. It confirms our position as the leading company in Europe for the development, construction and operation of offshore wind parks,” says Wim Biesemans, the CEO of Parkwind. “Since the Fukushima incident, Japan has intensified its focus on renewable sources of energy. The knowhow that we have acquired in this field is clearly appreciated at the highest international levels. I am very proud that we have been able to conclude this valuable partnership. The experience and reputation of our team and our shareholders, together with the coherent regulatory framework that currently exists in Belgium, have given Sumitomo the necessary confidence to participate in this project.

Belwind has been operational since 2010 and has 55 turbines with an installed capacity of 165 MW (megawatt). Belwind is located on the Bligh Bank, some 46 kilometres off the Belgian coast. There are plans to expand the wind park in 2015 with a further 55 turbines, which will increase the capacity to 330 MW.

In the meantime, the construction of Northwind on the Lodewijk Bank, 37 kilometres from the Belgian coast, has also begun. The work is expected to be completed by the middle of 2014. The wind park consists of 72 turbines, good for a total installed capacity of 216 MW.

Thanks mainly to its participation in offshore wind projects, since 2011 the Colruyt Group has generated more electricity from renewable energy sources than it consumes. When new stores are built or old ones are renovated, every effort is made to see if the installation of solar panels is a viable option. The group also owns four wind turbines on land.

Sumitomo has considerable experience in onshore wind projects in Japan, China and the United States, and has recently begun a new venture in South Africa. However, the Belgian projects are the first offshore projects ever undertaken by Sumitomo.

Sumitomo is a trendsetting international corporation that is active worldwide in many different fields. They sell a wide range of products and services, are involved in import and export, invest in numerous international projects and participate wherever possible in other profitable activities, facilitated by their global network of trusted relationships with business partners and customers in many different industrial sectors.

The Colruyt Group is engaged in the distribution and sale of foodstuffs and non-food products in Belgium, France and Luxemburg, with 400 stores of its own and more than 500 other associated shops and outlets. In Belgium, the most well-known names are Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, DreamLand, DreamBaby, Spar and Eurospar. In France, in addition to 60 or so dedicated Colruyt supermarkets, it also trades via affiliated independent stores such as Coccinelle, Cocci Market and Panier Sympa. The group is also active in the food service business (supplying to hospitals, industrial kitchens, catering companies, etc.), in fuels (DATS 24), print and document management (Symeta) and green energy production. The group employs more than 25,000 personnel and has an annual turnover of 8.3 billion euros. Colruyt is stock listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (COLR) under ISIN-no. BE0974256852.

Korys is the investment holding of the Colruyt family, with a differentiated portfolio of investments focused on sustainable value creation. The 3Ps (Planet, People, Profit) are the cornerstone of the Korys investment strategy. In this respect, the participation of Korys in Parkwind is a perfect example of this strategy in action.

PMV is a Flemish investment company. PMV focuses on sustainable economic development in Flanders, with a demonstrable added value for both the economy and society. It is in this context that it has a special interest in projects involving renewable energy. PMV has assets of 900 million euros at its disposal.