Sparx launches $18 million renewables fund in Japan


Subsidiary Sparx Asset Trust & Management has launched the Renewable Energy Brown Field Fund as part of the group’s new investment strategy for renewable energy. Initial investors include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC), Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, Ricoh Leasing, Taiyo Life Insurance and Tochigi Bank, according to an online statement. The fund will continue to accept capital contributions and aims to eventually raise JPY 50 billion.

Sparx, which is listed on the  JASDAQ Securities Exchange, says the new fund will help to stabilize its long-term cash flows, as it will avoid risks associated with project development by solely investing in operational assets. Sparx plans to run the brownfield fund for a period of 20 years, but will only make new investments in operational projects until October 31, 2020.

Its Green Field Fund, which invests in solar, wind and biomass projects from the development phase, currently owns 344 MW of renewables capacity. Its portfolio in Japan was valued at roughly JPY 147.8 billion at the end of September. The fund owns 24 projects throughout the country, of which 21 are solar.

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The Sparx group recently posted a net profit of JPY 1.57 billion for the second quarter of the current Japanese fiscal year. In July, its Sparx Green Energy and Technology unit finished building a 12.8 MW solar array in Chiba prefecture, eastern Japan.

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