Plans for a large solar park in Eemshaven, The Netherlands

13 February 2019

Whitehelm Capital, Groningen Seaports and Royal Vopak today announce their intention to jointly invest in a 27 MW solar park. The solar photovoltaic field will be one of the largest currently in The Netherlands.

The new solar park will be situated on 19 ha of land adjacent to Vopak Terminal Eemshaven, land which is currently already leased by the terminal. The produced green electricity will be made available for local use in Groningen, Vopak terminals and the general electricity market.

Based on the available energy infrastructure, Groningen and especially Eemshaven are considered strategic locations for production and storage of renewable energy in the Netherlands. This project will give Whitehelm, Groningen Seaports and Vopak the opportunity to explore further new energy initiatives in Eemshaven.

Wessel Schevernels, Chairman of Vopak Terminal Eemshaven and Senior Investment Director at Whitehelm said: “Whitehelm is delighted to be working with our world-class partners Vopak and Groningen Seaports to deliver sustainable investment opportunities for our investors. Whitehelm has a deep commitment to Responsible Investing and this new solar park continues our strategy of investing in core, long-term infrastructure. Especially the combination of sustainable power generation and long-term storage of strategic stocks provides a critical contribution to the Dutch energy-mix and supports its transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Groningen Seaports is very pleased with this green expansion of existing Vopak Terminal Eemshaven activities. According to Cas König, CEO of Groningen Seaports: “This park contributes to the sustainability of the port and the reduction of CO2 emissions. For us, locally generated green electricity is of eminent importance as a location requirement for both current and future business activities. We increasingly see that providing renewable energy determines if a company chooses our ports as their location.”

Ramon Ernst, Managing Director Vopak North Netherlands “We are very motivated to make this solar park a success. This project fits perfectly with Vopak’s ambition for developing infrastructure solutions for a low-carbon energy future. This project allows us to accumulate knowledge and experience with electricity as a carrier of energy and gives us the opportunity to explore possible add-on applications like electricity storage and conversion for a later stage in Eemshaven. ”

The final investment decision after receipt of relevant permits and subsidies is envisaged for the autumn of 2019. The Vopak solar park is expected to be operational in 2020.

Vopak Terminal Eemshaven is a joint venture between funds managed by Whitehelm Capital and Royal Vopak.