Royal Cosun achieves 5.1 million kg CO2 reduction per year with green financing from BNP Paribas

October 12, 2021
  • The green financing concerns a new lease construction by BNP Paribas for a project of more than 28,000 solar panels on a 7-hectare solar meadow;
  • The 7-hectare solar meadow will reduce CO2 emissions by 5.1 million kilograms a year and is part of the 17-hectare Cosun Solar Park;
  • Every year, 9.2 million kWh of renewable energy is generated to supply the speciality factories of the subsidiary Cosun Beet Company with green energy.

Royal Cosun, a leading international agricultural cooperative, has signed a 10-year lease contract with BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions to finance more than 28,000 solar panels located at the Cosun Solar Park in Puttershoek. This is the first green financing Cosun has concluded and it contributes to the ambition of becoming CO2 neutral by 2050. This is the third investment in solar panels that Royal Cosun has made in recent years. Solar panels had previously been installed on the roof of the cold store of Aviko, a subsidiary in Steenderen, and on the roof of the new Aviko production plant for frozen fries and potato flakes in Poperinge, Belgium. The investment in the solar meadow project, which has now been completed, will generate a total of 9.2 millionkWh per year: this is equivalent to the energy consumption of approximately 3250 Dutch households.

The lease construction, developed by BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, is a first for the financing of solar parks in the Netherlands and internationally one of the first on this scale. This customised solution provides Royal Cosun with greater flexibility in its financing options for its regular investments. The financing of solar parks is a logical next step for BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions in expanding the possibilities for the financial lease of sustainable goods such as charging stations, LED solutions, E-bikes and solar panels.

From left to right: David Verhasselt (BNP Paribas) , Evelien Stevens (BNP Paribas), Hans Meeuwis (CEO Royal Cosun), Geert Lippens (CEO BNP Paribas Nederland) and Hans Schuil (CFO Royal Cosun)

Hans Meeuwis, CEO of Royal Cosun: “We are delighted that we have secured tailor-made financing for our solar meadow with BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions. This fits in with our aim of maximum energy efficiency and making energy use greener, and it helps to further realise our CO2 reduction targets.”

Geert Lippens, CEO of BNP Paribas Nederland: “The cooperation with our partner Royal Cosun is in line with BNP Paribas’ commitment to provide green financing solutions to its customers. It is a prime example of our One Bank strategy: the interdisciplinary cooperation within BNP Paribas Netherlands has culminated in the development of a customer-oriented lease construction that can be added to the wide range of financing options that contribute to the realisation of the Paris climate objectives.”

The 17-hectare Cosun Solar Park is located on the site of the former Cosun Beet Company sugar factory. This site with industrial zoning is being redeveloped into a sustainable business park with a harbour basin. The 7-hectare solar meadow, which is owned by Cosun, is directly connected to the nearby Cosun Beet Company specialities factory to make the factory’s entire electricity consumption sustainable. The speciality factory in Roosendaal will also become more sustainable by using the surplus of renewable energy generated by the solar meadow. The Cosun Solar Park has more than 65,000 solar panels, 10 hectares of which were purchased by the Klimaatfonds Nederland at the end of 2020, and will supply energy directly to the Dutch energy grid.