Whitehelm Capital, Groningen Seaports and Royal Vopak have joined forces to invest in one the largest solar parks in The Netherlands.

The new 27MW Vopak solar park, which is expected to be operational in 2020, will be situated on 19-hectare land adjacent to Vopak Terminal Eemshaven, the tank storage terminal jointly owned by funds managed by Whitehelm and Royal Vopak.

In a joint statement, the companies said the final investment decision after receipt of relevant permits and subsidies is envisaged for the autumn of 2019. Financial details were undisclosed.

The produced electricity will be made available for local use in Groningen, Vopak terminals and the general electricity market.

The new project will give Whitehelm, Groningen Seaports and Vopak the opportunity to explore further new energy initiatives in Eemshaven, the companies said.

Wessel Schevernels, the chairman of Vopak Terminal Eemshaven and senior investment director at Whitehelm, said: “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.”

Cas König, the CEO of Groningen Seaports, said: “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, a managing director at Vopak North Netherlands, said: “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.”