Linklaters advise Marubeni Corporation on first offshore wind project in Japan

  • The first commercial scale offshore wind power project in Japan
  • Financing involved multiple domestic and international financial institutions
  • The risk allocation model is likely to set a precedent for future offshore wind projects going into Japan

Linklaters has advised Marubeni Corporation, on their ¥100 billion (approx. US$920 million) plan to build approximately 140MW capacity offshore wind farms at Akita Port and Noshiro Port in northern Japan. This is expected to be Japan’s first large-scale commercial offshore wind power project.

The project financing was provided by multiple domestic and foreign financial institutions, with MUFG Bank, Mizuho Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation jointly acting as the mandated lead arrangers.

Marubeni’s 12 joint business partners have invested in the project’s special purpose vehicle, Akita Offshore Wind Corporation and include Obayashi Corp, Tohoku Sustainable & Renewable Energy Co, Cosmo Eco Power Co, Kansai Electric Power Co, Chubu Electric Power Co, The Akita Bank, Ohmori Co, Sawakigumi Corp, Kyowa Oil Co, Katokensetu Co, Kanpu Co, Sankyo Co. and Kyowa Oil Co.

With the combination of our market leading practice in the UK, led by Partner John Pickett in London, and internationally experienced Japanese lawyers in Tokyo, we were able to deliver high-quality advice on project documentation, taking into account the key features typically observed in large scale offshore wind projects in advanced markets.

Linklaters’ involvement in the transaction consolidates the firm’s leading position in advising large scale offshore wind projects. The transaction was led by partner Hirofumi Taba, supported by managing associates Mamiko Nagai, Mamoru Ikeda and associate Kana Hayashi.

Partner Hirofumi Taba, commented:

We are honoured to have the opportunity to support Marubeni Corporation on this significant project, which sets a milestone for both the sponsors and lenders. We believe many of the features in this deal will set a benchmark for future offshore wind projects in Japan and serve as a remarkable example in the development of the project financing market in the region.

Partner, and Head of Asia Energy & Infrastructure, John Maxwell commented:

This is an exciting time for renewables in Asia. We are delighted to have been involved in the first Japan offshore wind project to reach this stage. We were able to provide our clients with the benefit of years of experience in Europe combined with best-in-class local knowledge. This also builds on our recent activity in Taiwan and across other Asia renewables markets.