Itochu, Tokyo Gas Eye Bids for Japan’s Offshore Wind Farm Auction

(Reuters) Itochu Corp, Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, and other companies are considering bidding in the second round of the Japanese government’s auction of offshore wind power projects, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday. 

In December, Japan resumed public auctions of offshore wind farm projects under revised rules aimed at encouraging a wider range of operators and accelerating the development of infrastructure. 

The latest auction covers four areas capable of generating 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of wind power, including the 356 megawatt (MW) farm in Happo-Noshiro, off Akita prefecture in northern Japan. 

Around 20 companies are expected to participate in the auction, with the total cost of the project, which is not disclosed, estimated at 1 trillion yen ($6.9 billion), the Nikkei said. Based on public information related to environmental impact assessments and interviews with the companies, Itochu, Tokyo Gas, as well as Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco), Eneos Holdings and Mitsui & Co are considering submitting bids, the paper said. 

Tokyo Gas is looking to bid for one area in Akita, while Itochu is jointly studying with power generator JERA submitting bids for two areas, the Nikkei said, adding Tepco was considering bidding for two areas in Akita.

 Itochu, Tokyo Gas, Tepco, Eneos, and JERA declined to comment on the auction. Mitsui was not immediately available for comment. 

The auction runs until Friday, with the result expected by the end of March. Japan’s offshore wind power market is set to grow as the government has set a goal of installing up to 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, and up to 45 GW by 2040. 

($1 = 144.3400 yen) 

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