Earthquake prompts pilot PPPs in Japan

Tokyo’s Orix is part of a trio that will pursue public-private partnership solutions to help ease the economic burden on government for sewer infrastructure repairs in some of the hardest-hit areas in the wake of spring’s Great East Japan Earthquake.

A Japanese government agency has chosen a consortium led by Tokyo-based financial services firm Orix Corporation for a public-private partnership (PPP) study tied to the overhaul of sewer infrastructure throughout a coastal Japanese town. The town was hit hard by this spring’s devastating 8.9-magnituted earthquake.

Orix – along with Nippon Jogesuido Sekkei and Yokohama Water Corporation – will perform a review for Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT’s) Policy Bureau on PPP strategies that can be used to revitalise sewer structures. The assignment is a component in a tender issued by the MLIT for PPP projects to support disaster recovery initiatives.

At the heart of this business feasibility study is the damage that water resources and sewage infrastructure sustained during the catastrophic earthquake that shook Japan in March. The group was engaged to examine the “reconstruction, maintenance, management and operation of sewage facilities” across the town of Yamamoto in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, according to a press release.  

The consortium is tasked with assessing the destruction and identifying opportunities for PPPs to overhaul affected sewer and possibly water infrastructure throughout a designated area. The approach derived by the group could be replicated elsewhere when weather-related tragedies strike.

Orix’s role in the project is to examine business models and methods by which private capital can effectively be used to restore sewer infrastructure. Yokohama Water Corporation will leverage its location outside of Tokyo and provide analysis from an operational standpoint on how PPP relationships can support the infrastructure recovery of Yamamoto.