Special Report: Offshore Wind Power Project in Japan

Special Report: Offshore Wind Power Project in Japan

Offshore Wind Farm Project at Akita Port and Noshiro Port in Akita Prefecture

On 3 February 2020, Akita Offshore Wind Corporation (AOW) executed a loan agreement with several lenders to finance AOW’s construction, operation, and maintenance of two offshore wind farms at Akita Port and Noshiro Port in Akita Prefecture. The project is expected to be the first large-scale and commercial-basis offshore wind power project in Japan.

AOW is a special purpose company jointly sponsored by Marubeni Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Tohoku Sustainable & Renewable Energy Co., Inc., Cosmo Eco Power Co., Ltd., The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., The Akita Bank, Ltd., Ohmori Co., Ltd., Sawakigumi Corporation, Kyowa Oil Co., Ltd., Katokensetsu Co., Ltd., Kanpu Co., Ltd., and Sankyo Co., Ltd.

The project has a total output capacity of approximately 140MW, and will supply power to Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. for 20 years under the feed-in tariff programme. The loan for the project is the first project finance for offshore wind projects in Japan, and will be provided by multiple Japanese and foreign financial institutions.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (MHM) is legal counsel to AOW and the sponsors for the project, from the early stages of the feasibility study and through to the project financing. We provided AOW and the sponsors with the following legal services:

✔   consider contract schemes for the Project
✔   assist in applications for permits and negotiation with authorities and local stakeholders
✔   draft and review project agreements
✔   draft and review financing documents for the project finance
✔   provide legal advice regarding general corporate matters
✔   consider other legal issues affecting the project

MHM has accumulated experience by working on many pioneering projects in the areas of renewable energy and project finance. We have built up our capability to handle offshore wind projects, which are expected to become one of the main power sources in Japan, by utilizing our extensive experience in the renewable energy space, collecting knowledge from overseas, and rendering advice that takes the country’s business and legal practices into account. Our work on this project – as the first large-scale and commercial-basis offshore wind power project in Japan – is another pioneering contribution to the development of the offshore wind industry.

Project Outline

Project Company: Akita Offshore Wind Corporation
(Representative: Keiji Okagaki, President and CEO)
Site Location: Akita Port and Noshiro Port in Akita Prefecture
Installed Capacity: Approximately 140MW
Project Cost: Approximately 100 billion Japanese Yen
Generation Type: Bottom-fixed offshore wind farm
Off-taker: Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
Commercial Operation: Scheduled in 2022
Duration of PPA: 20 years

MHM team

(Project / Project Finance)
Shigeki OkataniYusuke MurakamiHironobu NomaKeigo KuboYuki Mori, Kensuke OkiKonosuke SetoJennifer LimTomohiko Adachi

(Electricity Regulation / Compliance)
Takuto IchimuraKazuyoshi Takada

Masaru AraiNobuhiko SuzukiKenta MinamitaniJunichi TsujiKarin Kobayashi

(International Trade)
Shigehiko Ishimoto

(Competition / Antitrust)
Kenji ItoAruto Kagami

(Intellectual Property)
Atsushi Okada

(Labor Law / Visas and Immigraton)
Taichi AraiYoshikazu Abe

Makoto Sakai

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*Please note: Information is current as of the time of disclosure.