Cotton Park invests in future proof charging stations.

A contemporary business centre without facilities for electric vehicles? Not acceptable, according to Jan Decoene, the driving force behind Cotton Park in Kortrijk. He commissioned Ceratec, his total partner for industrial electricity, to install 56 Smappee charging points. As a result, the 20 or so companies that rent office space there will soon be able to further invest in electric cars for their employees.

EV charging parking

Since 2017, under the guidance of project developer and operator Bessa, the Kortrijk Cotton Spinning Mill has been reinvented as Cotton Park, a contemporary 20,000 m² business centre with space for some 600 people. When renovating the buildings, simplicity and ecological design were the main priorities. Jan Decoene entrusted Ceratec with the entire industrial electricity package. “They have an excellent reputation for quality industrial automation, electrical installation techniques, security, energy and charging solutions. They have provided that high-quality service here too,” says Jan Decoene.

At the time Cotton Park was completed, electric mobility was not yet highly topical. The centre had one charging point. “When the legislation changed, I decided to go for it right away and to call on Ceratec’s services again.”

Charging solution from A to Z.

Ceratec distributes products from various charging point manufacturers, including Smappee. “Smappee’s offering is very strong, making them one of the better charging station manufacturers,” explains Jasper Dejonckheere, Project Leader Energy Solutions at Ceratec. “The main strengths are the user-friendly management system, the smart data platform and technical advantages such as overload protection and load balancing. What’s more, the company combines that with an excellent after-sales service.”

Nevertheless, Jan Decoene had his reservations. “We like simplicity and I was concerned about too much complexity”, he explains. “Also, optimising the output of our PV panels through the use of charging points seemed rather complicated to me. In the end, I gave in because there is 100% confidence in Smappee at Ceratec. In addition, the manufacturer offers a clever aesthetic solution for the charging point integration. Furthermore, our sites are close to each other, so that in the event of a fault, a response could be provided quickly. In contrast to other providers, Ceratec and Smappee also did not feel it necessary to introduce a maintenance contract, as the system is actually self-regulating.”

“In terms of invoicing, a charging station can seem a complex affair, but nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks to Smappee’s well-organised management system, we have quite quickly managed to set everything up properly and transparently.”

Jan Decoene, Bessa Benelux – Cotton Park Business Centre

Covering large distances.

For the installation, Ceratec needed to draw on all available expertise. “The cabling that was initially planned for the installation of charging points in Cotton Park is being kept for additional fast charging points in the future, so we had to provide completely new cabling. In addition, the conduits for extra pipes were soon fully occupied by all the cables and we had to negotiate large distances. For the 56 current charging stations, we provided a total of 6 km of cabling. Thanks to the coherent collaboration, we were able to put together that complex puzzle.” For the installation, it was necessary to install an extra-large electrical cabinet. The connections to all charging points are made via four transformers, each connected to one of Cotton Park’s four buildings. The engineering was done in a way that ensures that the cables between the buildings do not cross each other.

A clear and user-friendly management system.

Most of the charging stations are private and therefore allocated to the companies operating at Cotton Park. In addition, there are a number of public charging points. In terms of invoicing, a charging station can seem a complex affair, but nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks to Smappee’s well-organised management system, Bessa has quite quickly managed to set everything up properly and transparently.

“For the public charging stations, end users work with their own charging cards,” Jan Decoene elaborates. “The income from this goes directly to Smappee. Subject to a limited markdown for their own services, Smappee then duly passes that revenue on to us. Since the energy for the charging points is mostly provided by our solar panels, this is a nice additional source of income. For private charging stations, we send the bill to our tenants. Thanks to the extensive data on usage per pole, per day and per charge card, they can then easily break down the costs per driver internally. Finally, four company tenants chose the option with Smappee as eMSP (electric mobility provider). They use Smappee charging cards to charge and we then receive their payments through Smappee, just as we do with public charging stations. They can also use their Smappee charging cards to charge at other public charging stations.”

Despite his initial scepticism, Jan Decoene is now fully convinced of the Smappee approach and the excellent installations Ceratec represents. “It is very convenient that we have one central contact for everything related to electricity. Jasper Dejonckheere and Jan Deroo do an excellent job. In addition, we can count on Smappee’s excellent support for the management of our charging point network. At the moment, not all charging points are used intensively, but with the current legislation, this will probably soon change. Consequently, we will be expanding further in the future. By choosing 22 kW charging stations, we have already anticipated future developments in this niche market. In addition, as of next year, we will use the additional capacity that we still have available on one high-voltage cabin to also supply a number of Smappee fast chargers”, concludes Jan Decoene.

Client Bessa Beneleux – Cotton Park
Installer. Ceratec
Country. Belgium
Industry. Business centre


Cotton Park is a business centre in Kortrijk, consisting of 4 buildings. It is home to some 20 companies, which together employ between 500 and 600 people. The site is a former cotton mill. After an extensive renovation, it was given a second lease of life as an office park with a strong emphasis on ecology.


Project developer and Cotton Park operator Bessa Benelux decided to quickly invest in a widespread charging point network. All tenants who so wished could equip their car parks with charging stations, either for their own use or for public charging.


Ceratec, Cotton Park’s total partner for industrial electricity, installed 56 aesthetically pleasing Smappee charging stations on the contemporary site, which met Bessa’s requirements perfectly. A large number of companies chose to equip their separate car parks with the advanced technology. It means their employees can charge their cars during the day when the most solar energy is generated. Ceratec and Smappee guaranteed total peace of mind. Through Smappee, Cotton Park receives income for a number of public charging points and a detailed insight into the charging cycles of company employees with a Smappee charging card.


  • Optimal use of solar energy for charging electric cars and heating and cooling the buildings.
  • Additional income from tenants for operator Bessa.
  • Future-proof network of 22 kW charging stations.
  • The option of storing 10% unused solar energy in a battery, as additional power for fast charging stations.

Why Smappee?

  • A user-friendly management system.
  • Transparent data on charging costs and revenues.
  • Easy installation and expansion options.
  • Low-maintenance technology.
  • Smart overload protection and load balancing. Optimisation of PV system.

Interested? Contact us.

Smappee, Smart EV Charging Department

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