Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Takes Stake in European Offshore Wind Project

Japanese company Chubu Electric Power has concluded an agreement with Dutch renewable energy firm Eneco for the sale of a 30% stake in Ecowende, a joint venture between Eneco and Shell.

Ecowende is developing a large-scale offshore wind farm that will have a minimal impact on nature. Eneco intends to invest the proceeds of the sale in other renewable energy projects in order to accelerate the energy transition.

Currently, Eneco holds 40% of the shares in Ecowende. This will fall to 10% once the transaction has taken place. At that point, Chubu will hold a 30% stake.

Ecowende won the tender for the wind farm – which will be located approximately 53 kilometres off the Dutch coast, directly west of IJmuiden – in December 2022. The wind farm will be constructed in harmony with nature and will be able to feed 760 MW into the Dutch power grid, which is enough to meet around 3% of current demand for electricity in the Netherlands. The wind farm is scheduled to become operational in 2026.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024, once all the necessary approvals have been obtained from the relevant parties, which include the competition authorities.

Japanese energy company Chubu has been a shareholder of Eneco since 2020 and currently has a 20% stake. The other shares in Eneco are held by Mitsubishi Corporation.

The investment in Ecowende marks Chubu’s first direct investment in an offshore wind farm. The Japanese company hopes to use Ecowende’s experience with all kinds of ecological innovations in offshore wind farms that Chubu will develop in Japan and other countries.

Hiroki Sato Senior Managing Executive Officer and CEO of Chubu’s Global Business division said: “This is a significant step for us to enhance our partnership with Eneco and Shell. The main concept of this Project is Ecological Innovation, which is the first one for offshore wind farm in the world. Thanks to this concept, Ecowende will build and operate the wind farm with minimal impact on the environment and protected species. I am convinced that the concept of Ecological Innovation will become mainstream globally in the near future, including Japan and Asia.”