Marubeni is to construct and operate a mega-solar power project in Iwanuma City, Miyagi Prefecture. Marubeni created a wholly-owned operating company, started construction in April 2014, and commenced commercial operation from April 2015.
The power plant capacity is 28.3 MW and is expected to produce approximately 29 million kWh per annum, corresponding to the annual electricity consumption of 8,000 ordinary houses — making it the largest solar power plant in the Tohoku region. The generated power will be sold for over 20 years under Japan’s renewable energy feed-in-tariff scheme.
A consortium comprising Marubeni (project integrator), the University of Tokyo, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Hitachi, Furukawa Electric, Shimizu, and Mizuho Information & Research has been participating in an experimental offshore floating wind farm project sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry since March 2012.
For the first phase, the installation work for a 2MW downwind-type floating wind turbine, 66 kV floating power sub-station (first in the world), and the undersea cables (first in the world between floating structures) has been successfully completed and operation in the testing area 20 km off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture has commenced.
Currently, the phase 2 construction of the 7MW hydraulic drive floating wind turbine has also been completed, and the work to install the third turbine, a 5MW downwind-type floating wind turbine, is underway.
Fukushima Prefecture expects this experimental project to spawn a new industry in renewable energy and create employment as part of recovery efforts in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Through this experimental project, Fukushima Prefecture hopes to develop a large wind farm industry.
In August 2011, two movable gas turbines supplied by Marubeni and installed in the Tohoku Electric Power Higashi-Niigata Thermal Power Station Minato Unit 3 series began commercial operation.
Marubeni Corporation and Marubeni Logistics Corporation cooperated to secure early power supply for Tohoku Electric Power Co. Ltd. which was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. By fully utilizing Marubeni’s capabilities as a sogo shosha, supply of the movable gas turbines was achieved in one-quarter of the normal time.
While vessels are normally used to transport turbines, in this case speed was of the utmost importance. The transportation was achieved by simultaneously chartering four of the world’s largest transport aircraft out of a twenty-strong fleet owned by Antonov, and then completing transportation to Niigata using domestic vessels.
In March 2011, Marubeni Corporation and Marubeni Nisshin Feed Co., Ltd. teamed up to charter domestic vessels to deliver feed from domestic factories in Hokkaido, Kagoshima, and other prefectures to disaster-affected regions where supplies had stopped. Marubeni Nisshin Feed increased production by operating its factories at full capacity.
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, Marubeni Construction Material Lease Co., Ltd. quickly provided steel to help reconstruct damaged seawalls in Kesennuma Harbor and burst river levees, as well as steel sheets for strengthening roads which had collapsed.
On the third day of the disaster, the Tohoku Branch of Marubeni Corporation (based in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture) received an urgent request for 2,000 meals from the affected areas.
Upon this request being reported by the Tohoku Branch, the Global Strategy & Coordination Department immediately directed the Food Division to procure food. The head of the division gave the instruction to collect as much food as possible. WOOKE Co., Ltd. sent about 50,000 servings of their packaged rice, while about 12,000 cups of instant noodle and about 10,000 servings of dried noodle were also collected from other Group companies.
Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, however, the transportation systems were disabled, with damage to distribution points and blocked roads. Also, it was difficult to procure fuel for the trucks necessary for delivery, as diesel fuel supplies were extremely low. Despite these difficulties, at the request of the Food Division, Logi Partners Inc., a distribution service provider within the Marubeni Group, asked Marubeni Energy Corporation, another subsidiary that sells petroleum products such as gasoline diesel fuel and kerosene, to supply fuel for trucks to deliver relief supplies.
Thanks to this team effort, which could only have been accomplished by a general trading company group handing a variety of products and services, the relief supplies were delivered to the affected people in a timely manner. Upon receiving the large quantity of packaged rice and noodles, the evacuees expressed their appreciation for the thoughtfulness and quick actions of the Marubeni Group.