Japan’s JERA to acquire Belgium’s top offshore wind company for $1.7bn

26 March 2023
Japan’s JERA to acquire Belgium’s top offshore wind company for $1.7bn

Japanese energy company JERA has signed an agreement with Virya Energy to acquire 100% of the shares of Parkwind, Belgium’s top offshore wind company, in a $1.7bn deal.

JERA is a joint venture between the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Chubu Electric Power Company.  JERA is Japan’s largest power company and seeks to reach net-zero across its operations by 2050.

Green energy developers Virya Energy has agreed to sell the project’s four offshore wind farms located in Belgium. Parkwind’s current capacity is 771MW across 201 turbines powering 800,000 households. The company also has a further 1.1GW in development worldwide, including in Germany and Ireland.

Nathalie Oosterlinck, global head offshore wind for JERA said in a statement: “Parkwind is highly complementary with JERA’s offshore wind strategy and ambitions, and we look to empower Parkwind to deliver on our vision and strategy. JERA has the ambition to significantly advance the expansion of renewable and low carbon energy on a global scale”.

The Japanese government seeks to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 46% before 2030 compared with 2013 levels and achieve net-zero by 2050.

Paul Tummers CEO of Virya Energy said “Virya believes JERA will provide Parkwind with the best assets, expertise, and support to ensure the pursuit of its successfully initiated international journey towards a decarbonated future, reinforcing its long-term global potential out of its strong Belgian base”.

Offshore wind generation in Japan

According to the National Bureau of Asian Research around 77% of Japan’s electricity is produced by fossil fuels. The share of renewables in the country’s power mix has only increased from 10% to 20% over the past decade, but Japan has plans to increase this share to 34.6% of the generation mix by 2030.

JERA’s deal with Parkwind could be a sign of greater investment in offshore wind domestically. The country seeks to install 10GW from offshore wind by 2030.

The Global Wind Energy Council concludes that Japan has around 128GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind potential and 424GW of floating offshore wind potential.

According to its research “with rising fossil fuel costs and a goal to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, the Government of Japan has recognised offshore wind as a power source that can be introduced in large scale without putting significant burden on the economy and with significant cost reduction potential”.