Mitsubishi Corp Enters Concentrated Solar Energy Business in Spain

Mitsubishi Corporation ("MC") has acquired a share in Concentrating Solar Power ("CSP") generation plants (4 plants with total of 200 MW in capacity) and become the first Japanese company to own concentrated solar energy plants under commercial operational stage. All the four plants, until MC’s acquisition, are held by Acciona, which is the world’s largest independent (non-utility) renewable energy developer and owner.

Also, MC, together with 3 Japanese banks, has agreed to finance Acciona under the support from Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

Mitsubishi Corporation has acquired 15% share of Acciona Termosolar from Acciona Energia, the renewable energy business of the Acciona Group. Acciona Termosolar operates four CSP plants in Spain, and until MC’s acquisition is wholly owned by Acciona Energia. This transaction will establish MC as the largest owner of CSP generation plant amongst Japanese entities.

All four of the concentrated solar energy plants are located in southern Spain, a region that is renowned for receiving great deal of sunlight. With Acciona having obtained a Pre-allocation in Spain’s special regime register, the facilities are entitled to receive benefits from the country’s Feed in Tariff regulatory regime, which is one of the world’s most well-developed mechanisms to encourage use of renewable energy.

Project financing for the solar thermal plants has also been secured. Three of the solar thermal plants are already operating commercially, and the remaining Palma del Rio I is also expected to begin operations this autumn. The project’s total cost (of all four plants) is around one billion EUR. Each year it is expected to generate approximately 450 million kWh of electricity, while reducing CO2 emissions by 430,000 tons.

The finance scheme was one of the key factors in realizing this transaction. It was arranged by THE BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI UFJ, LTD.iBTMUj, MIZUHO CORPORATE BANK, LTD. (Mizuho CB), DEVELOPMENT BANK OF JAPAN INC.(DBJ), and MC, and is covered by Overseas Untied Loan Insurance underwritten by NEXI. MC hopes to expand its business base in this area by leveraging its global network and maximizing added value from this kind of financing expertise.

In April 2009, MC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that sets forth a comprehensive strategic alliance with Acciona S.A. to jointly explore the opportunities in the field of concentrated solar energy, photovoltaic, wind generation and other environment related areas in order to expand our business base.

MC and Acciona have already established an initial partnership in March 2009 with the sale of 34% stake in Acciona’s 45.8MW photovoltaic plant in Portugal. In 2010, MC launched its Global Environment Business Group to promote greater development of renewable energy and other environment businesses. MC hopes this latest transaction will strengthen its presence in concentrated solar energy business, and accelerate development in this business area.

Acciona S.A. (Listed in Madrid Stock Exchange, IBEX 35 companyjis establishing its renewable energy business in multiple technologies worldwide – including wind, hydro, solar and biomass, and holds 7.4GW of generation capacity in the field of renewable generation, – which ranks them in the top tier of the industry. In addition, Acciona holds biggest development and operation track record in the field of CSP generation.

Concentrating Solar Power systems generate electricity by using the heat from concentrated sunlight to rotate steam turbine. In sunny regions, CSP is a efficient means of generating electricity with excellent investment potential in the future. Rapid growth is expected in the markets where supportive regulatory framework are established such as countries in southern part of Europe, North America and Australia.

Once the technology becomes even more cost competitive, CSP may play a pivotal role to satisfy the world’s growing energy demands. This is particularly true in rapidly-developing geographies with abundant sunshine, such as MENA, South America and East Asia.

Mitsubishi Corporation (TSE: 8058; ADR: MSBHY) is Japan’s largest general trading company (sogo shosha) with over 200 bases of operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide. Together with its over 500 group companies, Mitsubishi Corporation employs a multinational workforce approximately 55,000 people.

The Group has long been engaged in business with customers around the world in virtually every industry, including energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise. Mitsubishi Corporation’s commitment to social responsibility is embodied in its corporate philosophy and demonstrated through its extensive programme of cultural, environmental and educational projects worldwide.