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PKA praises renewables, as it buys wind farm with LEGO

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Denmark’s PKA has acquired a £330m (€433m) stake in a UK offshore wind farm, praising the comparatively strong returns from renewables in light of the declining fortunes of the coal sector.

The labour-market pension provider joined LEGO Group’s parent company Kirkbi in a deal that saw each take on a 25% stake in a wind farm, to be built by Dong Energy.

The stake in the Burbo Bank extension, expected to be completed by 2017, is PKA’s fifth wind farm asset and is based off the coast of England, near Liverpool.

Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at PKA, compared the returns the fund had generated from renewables to those of 31 coal companies divested last year, which he said had since declined 60% in value.

“In the same period, the return on our offshore wind farms has been more than 7%.”

PKA’s first investment in a wind farm was Anholt offshore wind farm in 2011 – also with Dong Energy.

The provider has now invested three times with Dong Energy.

Construction of the latest scheme will start this spring, with the project expected to be fully commissioned in the first half of next year.

The farm will include 32 turbines and be the first large-scale wind farm to deploy new MHI Vestas 8 MW turbines.

When completed, the farm will provide energy to 230,000 households.

For Kirkbi, which holds a 75% stake in Lego, the investment in Burbo Bank Extension is its second major long-term investment in renewables.

In 2012, the company invested in the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm.

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