TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japan's top utility JERA has agreed to buy Parkwind, Belgium's largest offshore wind platform, for 1.55 billion euros ($1.7 billion), as it expands in renewable power to meet decarbonization goals.
JERA, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings and Chubu Electric Power Co Inc, will add Parkwind's four offshore wind farms in Belgium and a new wind farm being built in Germany to its renewable portfolio through the deal.
The acquisition will increase JERA's renewable energy assets, which include existing offshore wind investments in Taiwan and the United Kingdom, to 2.8 gigawatts from 2.2 GW as of the end of 2022.
"We want to gain Parkwind's know-how and knowledge of offshore wind power projects in Europe that can be utilized in JERA's existing wind farms and new projects mainly in Asia," Ken Matsuda, the head of JERA's overseas offshore wind power business group, told a news conference.
JERA aims to boost its renewable power assets to 5 GW by March 2026 through new development and acquisitions, he added.
Virya Energy, which agreed to sell Parkwind to JERA, will study the possibility of reinvesting in a minority stake in Parkwind's Belgian wind farms, JERA said. The deal is to be closed later this year, pending approvals.
Parkwind currently runs 201 turbines off the coast of Belgium with a capacity of 771 megawatts, able to supply 800,000 households, and has another 1.1 GW in development worldwide, including in Germany and Ireland.
JERA told Reuters this month it had decided to sell its 44% stake in the Formosa 3 wind project off the central-western coast of Taiwan, while keeping its exposure to the Formosa 1 and 2 projects.
Colruyt, the Belgian group that controls Virya, cited the energy market situation and public plans to support the green transition as reasons for the sale, as investors in offshore wind projects must contend with increased financial exposure, fierce competition and the need for increased investments.