Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, and Development Bank of Japan have launched an infrastructure equity fund of up to JPY 30bn (USD 270m) earmarked for investment into UK offshore wind power projects.
The three companies said in their joint release Thursday (14 February) that they have launched Spring Infrastructure 1 Investment Limited Partnership through newly established fund management firm called Spring Infrastructure Capital (SIC).
The fund, scheduled to reach JPY 30bn close by end-March, will invite about 10 domestic investors to UK offshore assets held by Sumitomo. The fund is the first in Japan designed to invest in offshore wind power projects outside the country.
Specifically, the new fund will invest into the 336MW Galloper and the 573MW Race Bank offshore wind power projects in the UK. Sumitomo holds a 12.5% stake in both the projects.
Using proceeds from the stake sale to the fund, Sumitomo will buy more renewable assets outside Japan “to achieve strategic asset replacement while working to develop more infrastructure projects with quality,” it said.
As limited partners, Sumitomo, SMBC and DBJ each will invest in the fund along with domestic investors. SIC, held 51% by Sumitomo and 24.5% each by SMBC and DBJ, will also invest in the fund.
A Sumitomo spokesperson said the fund will likely establish the second and the third funds within five-six years for investment into renewable energy projects, but declined to give details.
Sumitomo currently holds a combined 1.4GW renewable energy projects worldwide. The company has a track record of joining offshore wind projects in Europe, such as the ones in Belgium and France.