EKF offers Export Loan worth EUR 67 million to Obton to secure Danish ownership of Japanese solar park
EKF Denmark´s Export Credit Agency (EKF) has agreed to offer an Export Loan worth approximately EUR 67 million to Obton, the Danish solar energy giant. The loan allows Obton to acquire Shirakawa solar park in Japan. This is also EKF´s very first financing of a solar project.
“This is the first time that Obton acquires a solar park in Asia and it would not have been possible without financial backing from EKF”, explains Anders Marcus, founder and CEO of Obton.
”As this is our first project in Japan, the Japanese banks were reluctant to lend us the money to finance the project. It was therefore crucial for our entry into Japan that EKF stepped in with an Export Loan. This transaction is extremely important to us. Not only does it allow us to enter the Japanese market, but it will also put us first in line to bid for a pipeline of other projects offered by the seller”, says Anders Marcus
With headquarter in the city of Aarhus, Obton acquires, develops and runs solar energy projects, offering both private and professional investors the opportunity to invest in solar energy. The company itself provides an amount equivalent to half of the loan from EKF.
The majority of Obton's 170 employees are located in the headquarter in Aarhus, managing the investments of several hundred solar projects in Europe and Canada. Obton continually expands their project portfolio, including geographical range. Obton had been contemplating the acquisition of the Shirakawa solar park in Japan for quite some time.
”Japan might well turn out to be an extremely important market within solar energy. In one step, this acquisition has helped us gain a firm foothold in the Japanese market. It's really great”, says Anders Marcus.
EKF takes the first step into solar energy
EKF also welcomes the transaction which is EKF's first financing of a solar park.
”EKF's ambition is to help to finance green transition, and solar energy is a significant technology within green transition. Due to our longstanding efforts within export of Danish wind technology, EKF is already known as one of the world's greenest export credit agencies, however, we sincerely hope to be able to replicate the success story within solar energy and Power-to-X as well”, says Thomas Hovard, Chief Commercial Officer for Corporates & Institutions in EKF.
For EKF this specific project is a positive first experience with financing of a new type of asset, namely solar projects:
“As the first financing of a solar project, the Shirakawa-project is ideal for EKF. We gain valuable experience from financing this type of asset without facing construction risks and market risks since the project has already been built and secures a good and reasonable revenue. And we are doing it together with a most qualified partner as Obton”, says Thomas Hovard.
The prospects within solar energy are bright. EKF has several projects in the pipeline, both with Obton and other Danish as well as international stakeholders within solar energy, including projects with higher risk than the Shirakawa-project. The projects involve both upgrade of existing solar projects which will increase the production of green energy within the same area as well as new projects.