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Marubeni Building Japan’s First Major Offshore Wind Farms

SNA (Tokyo) — The trading company Marubeni Corporation will build Japan’s first large-scale commercial offshore wind farms in Akita Prefecture in an initiative that may help the nation reduce its carbon footprint. Marubeni and twelve partners have signed loan agreements with several banks for the construction of the two wind farms.

Akita Offshore Wind Corporation, an affiliate of Marubeni, aims to set up a total of 33 wind power generators at port facilities in the cities of Noshiro and Akita. These farms are already under construction and scheduled to begin operations in 2022. The power generators will have a total output of 140MW, enough to serve the needs of around 47,000 households.

In a 2018 press release, Marubeni explained that it “recognizes that climate change is a major issue shared by all of humanity. It is a problem that threatens the co-existence of the global environment and society, a problem that has an enormous effect on Marubeni’s business and its shareholders, and a problem that Marubeni believes must be dealt with swiftly.”

The plan calls for the generated electricity to be sold to Tohoku Electric Power Company over a twenty-year period, under a power purchase agreement based on the feed-in tariff program. The project costs are expected to total around ¥100 billion (US$920 million), with its main financing coming from MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Mizuho Bank.

Japan has previously built wind generators on a trial basis or on very small scale, but this project is the first on a major commercial scale.

Marubeni’s twelve partners are Obayashi Corporation, Tohoku Sustainable & Renewable Energy Company, Cosmo Eco Power Company, Kansai Electric Power Company, Chubu Electric Power Company, Akita Bank, Ohmori Company, Sawakigumi Corporation, Kyowa Oil Company, Kato Construction, Kanpu Company, and Sankyo Company.

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