Nishimura, Baker advise on Japan offshore wind farm

Nishimura and Baker advise Hibiki Wind Energy

Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi advised Hibiki Wind Energy, a consortium of five energy companies, on its development of and project financing for the 220MW Kitakyushu Hibikinada Offshore Wind Farm in Japan.

Meanwhile, Baker McKenzie’s Japanese member, Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise), advised on project financing for the wind farm, including negotiations for turbine supply and service agreements, as well as for engineering, procurement, construction, and installation contracts concerning wind turbine foundations and onshore facilities.

Partners Tsuneyasu Ozaki, Sadayuki Matsudaira, Amane Kawamoto, Teruyuki Yamamoto and Nobuaki Mori led the Nishimura & Asahi team in Tokyo.

Baker McKenzie’s team in Tokyo was led by partners Naoaki Eguchi and Tsutomu Kobayashi, with the support of counsel Pierre Chiasson and associates Naoki Ishikawa, Mana Isobe and Ryota Hiyamizu.

The project constructs and operates 25 bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines in the Hibikinada area of the Port of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka. This will be the first installation of 9.6MW class large-scale wind turbine generators in Japan, which is expected to start commercial operations in 2025 and supply the area with zero-emission electricity for 20 years.

As a project company, Hibiki Wind Energy is led by sponsors with businesses and presences in Kitakyushu city, including Kyuden Mirai Energy, J-POWER, Hokutaku, Saibu Gas and Kyudenko. Hibiki co-developed the project with local stakeholders after the company was awarded the right to develop the project in 2017 and is supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation in wind measurements and geotechnical surveys.

Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, and the Development Bank of Japan acted as mandated lead arrangers and were joined by 34 other lenders.

The Sixth Strategic Energy Plan approved by the Japanese government in October 2021 highlighted the significance of offshore wind energy in achieving a renewable energy-dominated electricity supply system and in reducing carbon emissions.