Japan picks consortium led by Toda to build Goto offshore wind farm

TOKYO, June 11 (Reuters) - Japan’s industry ministry said on Friday it had chosen a consortium of six companies led by Toda Corporation to build the 16.8 megawatts (MW) Goto floating offshore wind farm in Nagasaki, southern Japan, in an auction.

The consortium is the first winner of government auctions for new offshore wind power projects under a new law to promote the sector as Japan aims to boost renewable power capacity to help it achieve its 2050 goal of becoming carbon neutral.

Other members of the consortium are Eneos Corp, a unit of Eneos Holdings Inc, Osaka Gas Co Ltd, Inpex Corp, Kansai Electric Power Co Inc and Chubu Electric Power Co Inc.

There were no other bidders, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the consortium’s proposal met all the criteria.

The ministry launched the tender for the Goto project in June last year and closed it in December.

A number of companies, including big foreign wind power firms, are keen to enter Japan’s market as it plans to install up to 10 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2030, and 30 GW to 45 GW by 2040.

The Goto project did not attract more than one bidder as it was small and a floating wind project, but all eyes are on the next three projects - two in Akita, northern Japan, and one in Chiba, near Tokyo.

The result of those auctions are expected to be announced around November.

Governments worldwide are expected to offer a record number of tenders for offshore wind sites and capacity this year, with more than 30 GW on the block, as more and more countries roll out plans to boost wind power in an effort to reduce carbon footprints. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi Editing by Robert Birsel)