Kajima begins Japan’s offshore wind revolution with $920m Akita Noshiro project

Kajima Corporation was scheduled to start work today on Japan’s first big offshore wind farms, which are to be installed off the coast of Akita Port and Noshiro Port in Akita prefecture, in the northeast of Honshu, reports Offshore Wind. 

Kajima is acting as the EPCI (engineering, procurement, construction and installation) contractor for the $920m project, which is being developed by a consortium led by Marubeni Corporation, Japan’s fifth largest conglomerate. Other members include another of Japan’s "big five" contractors, the Obayashi Corporation, as well as a number of energy and finance companies.

The project will begin to address the lack of wind energy in Japan. At present the country generates around 4GW, and the government has previously shown little enthusiasm for more. In 2018 it set a target of only 1.7% of installed capacity by 2030.

Last year, however, it announced plans to install up to 10GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and up to 45GW by 2040 as part of its plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

It has been estimated that the country has the potential to generate 144GW from onshore wind and 608GW from offshore sources.

Kajima is now overseeing the placing of 33 turbines for the 139MW Akita and Noshiro element. These were supplied by Danish wind specialist Vestas, and the supporting monopiles and the transition pieces, which anchor the turbines and give access to them, were made by Sif of Belgium.

The contractor is due to complete the piling work this year, which should allow the turbines to begin spinning in 2022.

Meanwhile, Japanese renewable energy developer Renova is planning the Yurihonjo project in the Akita Prefecture. This will generate 700MW of power from up to 90 turbines. Kajima was chosen as the EPCI contractor for this scheme in May last year, and is due to finish it in 2024.

Image: Japan has the potential to generate more than 600GW from offshore wind energy (Dreamstime)

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