Mitsubishi Acquires 50 pct of Walney 1 Offshore Transmission Assets (UK)
Mitsubishi Corporation (hereafter “MC”), through its wholly owned special purpose company and its UK based subsidiary, has acquired a 50% share of the Walney 1 offshore transmission assets (hereafter “Walney 1”). The acquisition was made from Macquarie Capital Group Limited (UK Branch) (hereafter “Macquarie”), and represents the first time for a Japanese company to be involved in operation of offshore undersea transmission cable business overseas.
Macquarie, following a tender for the licence to operate the transmission cable run by Ofgem, the UK energy regulator and which commenced in July 2009, has owned the right to operate the Walney 1 offshore undersea transmission cable together with a Fund managed by Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management (hereafter “BIFM”). After the transaction between Macquarie and MC, MC and The BIFM Fund now each own 50% of Walney 1.
Walney 1’s assets are approximately 13 billion yen (￡105.4 million). MC and BIIF will maintain and operate the undersea transmission cable, approximately 50km, which connects the offshorewind farm (total capacity 184MW) located in the East Irish Sea to the Lancaster Coast and its transformers facilities. The two companies have a licence to operate the project for 20 years.
European governments are pursuing the expansion of renewable energy use to achieve a low carbon society and offshore wind farms play a key measure in this objective. They have been aggressively established across the UK and many projects with a total capacity of about 30GW by 2025 are now in the planning stages. The undersea transmission cable business will contribute towards a low carbon society, by transferring the clean electricity produced by the oversea wind farm in the East Irish Sea to various locations, and further expansion of this transmission operation business is expected to continue, together with the increase in the number of offshore wind farms.
Infrastructure business is a strategic focus area for MC, as highlighted in its Midterm Corporate Strategy 2012, announced in July 2010. MC will continue to expand its presence in the cable operation business, paying particular attention to new projects in the UK.
Offshore WIND staff, December 02, 2011; Image: mitsubishicorp