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20. March 2007

Mitsubishi Heavy

to borrow money using CO2 credits - report

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. plans to finance a Bulgarian wind farm by using the resulting greenhouse gas emission rights as collateral, the first such financing plan in the world, the Nikkei business daily said.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Corporate Bank will extend a syndicated loan of 38 mln euro, the report said without clarifying its sources.

In the contract slated to be sealed Monday, future power sales generated by the project will also be used as collateral, it said.

The Kyoto Protocol, the first-ever international law on global warming, requires industrialised nations to slash emissions of greenhouse gas.

But nations can sell their excess credits to another country, such as by setting up environmentally friendly technology. Companies also can buy and sell emission credits.

A joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy and a local construction company will build an offshore wind farm in the Black Sea, using 35 of the Japanese firm's 1,000 kilowatt turbines, the report said.

The project will reduce CO2 emissions by about 80,000 tons a year as a result of the switch from existing conventional thermal power plants to the new wind farm, earning emission credits, it said.

The emission credits will be sold to the operator of the Japan GHG Reduction Fund, a consortium of 33 Japanese firms that includes trading giant Mitsubishi Corp..

The plant, slated to start operation next year, will sell electricity to Bulgaria's state-owned power utility, the Nikkei said.

Officials of Mitsubishi Heavy was not immediately reached for a comment. 

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