Sumitomo takes minority stakes in Belgian offshore projects

BELGIUM: Japanese trading giant Sumitomo Corporation has announced it has entered into an agreement with Belgian company Parkwind to take shares in Belwind 1 and Northwind.

Belwind wind farm… one of two projects Sumitomo has invested in
Belwind wind farm… one of two projects Sumitomo has invested in

Parkwind's shareholders are Belgian retailers Colruyt Group and Korys NV and investment fund PMV. The 165MW Belwind 1 project, which has been online since 2010, cost EUR 650 million to build. Northwind is currently under construction at an estimated cost of EUR 900 million.

Sumitomo will acquire a 39% stake in Belwind 1 and a 33.3% stake in the Northwind project through its wholly owned subsidiaries following the approval from the European Commission and any other relevant authority.

Parkwind and Sumitomo have also entered into a project development agreement to work together on the 165MW Belwind 2 project.

This is not Sumitomo's first move into offshore wind. It is also part of a Hitachi Zosen-led consortium to invest around EUR 1.2 billion in offshore wind projects off Japan. The consortium's initial target is to install 300MW within the next ten years.

The corporation has also invested in a number of onshore US projects. In 2012, it bought 50% equity stakes in two under-construction Kansas wind farms that will have 299MW installed capacity once operational.

In 2011, Sumitomo was among a number of corporations, also including Google, to invest $500 million in the $2 billion Shepherds Flats wind farm developed by GE and Caithness Energy in the US state of Oregon.

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