Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a loan agreement with Triton Knoll OFTO Limited (TK) for transmission assets associated with the Triton Knoll wind farm off the east coast of England.
The £523 million (US$664 million) project loan is co-financed with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale, Barclays Bank, and Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited. JBIC is providing £259 million.
Under the UK system, offshore wind projects are constructed as one entity, including generating and transmission assets, but after completion the transmission infrastructure is divested to separate owners.
The wind farm has now been operational for two years, but there was a delay on divesting the tranmission assets, due to a fault in one of the cables.
The offshore transmission owner (Ofto) licence was awarded to a company owned by TEPCO Power Grid UK Limited, a subsidiary of TEPCO Power Grid Incorporated, and funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited, an infrastructure investor headquartered in London.
Under the terms of the Ofto licence, TK will now own and operate the subsea cables, land cables and onshore substation facilities transmitting the electricity generated to the national grid for 23 years.
The wind farm has a total generation capacity of 857 megawatts, and is located 32 kilometres off the Lincolnshire coast. It is owned by RWE of Germany, J-Power and Kansai Electric Power.
In line with UK, Japan policies
The project conforms with the UK government’s energy policy. The United Kingdom amended its Climate Change Act in 2019, setting a legal target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 and promoting the introduction of renewable energy.
In the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan released in October 2021, the Government of Japan stated that in the midst of the global move towards decarbonization, it is important for Japan to improve the international competitiveness of its industry by supporting the development and social implementation of decarbonization technologies by Japanese corporations.
In the Infrastructure System Overseas Promotion Strategy 2025 (supplemented in June 2023), the Japanese government, in supporting the transition to carbon neutrality and decarbonization, established a policy of supporting quality energy and electricity infrastructure that harness sophisticated technologies to reduce the burden on the environment in a way that is compatible with the energy policy of host countries.
The loan is in line with this policy and will financially support an overseas infrastructure project that a Japanese company has invested in and will be involved in its operation and management for the long term, thereby contributing towards maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of the Japanese industry.