EMEC aiding marine energy development in Japan
The Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre has furthered its ties in the Far East with the signing of a contract to advise on the development of a test facility in Japan.
EMEC will advise on the infrastructure needed for the test site in Nagasaki Prefecture, from subsea cables and grid connection to resource data instrumentation, as well as the wider measures required to support marine energy deployments in the region.
A review of the marine renewables industry will also be undertaken, alongside support in business planning, operational procedures, and health and safety.
This follows EMEC becoming a member of NaMICPA (the Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association) earlier in the year, to help support the development of marine renewables in Japan and stimulate further collaboration between the two countries.
In October, a 28-strong delegation from NaMICPA visited Orkney, including representatives from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Nagasaki Economic Research Institute, and Nagasaki Prefectural Government, to discuss how the two regions can work together to progress marine renewables.
Oliver Wragg, commercial director at EMEC, said: “Having planned, developed and operated 18 real sea test berths of its own in Orkney, 14 of which are grid-connected, EMEC has overcome many obstacles, and has accumulated a great deal of learning about the do’s and don’ts of marine energy test site development.
“We’re delighted to be working with the Wind Energy Institute of Tokyo to help them develop marine energy in Japan. Just as EMEC stimulated interest and investment for marine energy in the UK in 2003, a Japanese test centre has the potential to kick-start the sector in Japan.
“And that will benefit wave and tidal technologies currently in development, as there will be a wider international market for them when they reach commercialisation.”
Akihiro Suzuki, president of the Wind Energy Institute of Tokyo, said: “This project is a new challenge for the marine industry in Nagasaki.
“The cooperation with EMEC, as well as the Scottish Government, is essential for the successful planning of the new test centre and the development of the local supply chain. We are very excited to work with EMEC as the advisor for this Nagasaki project.”
Makoto Takahira, director of Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association, said: “The creation of Nagasaki Marine Energy Centre is an important step to accelerate development of ocean renewable energy in Japan, as well as to create new marine industrial cluster in Nagasaki.
“We would like to learn from EMEC how to effectively manage the marine energy test centre and exchange information with supply chain companies in Orkney.”
“Having the support from EMEC, who has accumulated valuable expertise, we trust that Nagasaki Marine Energy Centre will be successfully realized.”
EMEC has been building on its ties with Japan since 2012, when the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan (OEAJ) to provide advice and support in the development of a Japan Marine Energy Centre (JMEC).