Sumitomo Corporation and J-Power have initiated survey work around the Hirashima and Enoshima islands off the coast of Saikai City in Nagasaki prefecture, where they hope to build an offshore windfarm
In a statement, Sumitomo said the waters off the coast of Sakai City are one of the most promising areas for offshore wind in Japan due to their favourable wind conditions and relatively shallow water depths.
Sumitomo and J-Power are undertaking site investigations to determine the soil structure in the area and acquire other data required for the foundation design for the offshore windfarm.
They plan to drill boreholes using a self-elevating platform to investigate the structure of the seabed and its and geological characteristics. They are also using sonar to survey the seabed and obtain a clearer idea of the conditions in the area. The work is due to be completed in August 2019.
Sumitomo Corporation has built up experience in the offshore wind sector by investing in offshore wind projects in Belgium, the UK and France. In February 2019, Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Development Bank of Japan overseas formed a fund to acquire UK assets held by Sumitomo Corporation as seed assets, including the company’s interest in the Race Bank and Galloper offshore windfarms. This was the first fund in Japan designed to invest in offshore wind power projects overseas.
Having become an investor in the Triton Knoll offshore wind project in the UK and Northwester 2 project being developed by Parkwind in Belgium, Sumitomo Corporation took a stake in two French projects late last year and signed agreements with Engie and EDPR to develop offshore wind projects at Yeu-Noirmoutier and Dieppe-Le Tréport. It acquired a 29.5% equity stake in the French offshore projects.
J-Power is Japan’s second-largest wind energy company and has been developing expertise in offshore wind in a number of projects, such as its involvement in the construction and operation of an offshore wind demonstration facility off the coast of Kitakyushu City and its participation in the Triton Knoll offshore windfarm in the UK. In September 2018, J-Power signed an agreement with Engie to collaborate on developing floating wind projects offshore Japan.