Japanese wind asset fund planned

Seeking to significantly expand its wind power portfolio at home and abroad, Japanese renewable energy company Green Power Investment (GPI) is launching a securitized fund for the acquisition of around 500 MW projects, says the company's Toshio Hori. The company, which is a conglomerate of large Japanese and US companies, including one headed by former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, is seeking individual and institutional investors to participate. The fund would encompass "four or five projects'" in Europe and Japan and boast total market capitalisation of "a couple of million US dollars," says Hori, formerly of Tomen's wind business before it became Eurus Energy. Negotiations with potential investors are ongoing. The fund financing mechanism is aimed at investors wary of holding equity in single projects and reduces risks such as the impact of currency fluctuation, he says. The fund would be the first instrument of its kind based in Japan, Hori says. If all goes to plan, he expects financial close on one major project in Europe in March. At present GPI owns just a 12 MW wind plant in Japan, but has development rights for several projects in Europe, says Hori. Current shareholders in GPI include blue chip companies Mitsubishi Corporation, the Sumitomo Trust & Banking Company, Nippon Life Insurance Company and a US joint venture investment firm, Giuliani Partners-Sage Capital Global Strategic Alliance. GPI shares may be available to further investors by late 2008.

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