Hitachi Zosen and Universal Foundation Add Japan to Bucket List

Universal Foundation has established a cooperation with Hitachi Zosen for a feasibility study to assess the application of mono bucket technology at an offshore wind project in Japan.

According to Universal Foundation, the project is looking to combine the achievements from commercial projects in Europe and the US with the specific conditions and requirements relevant to the Japanese offshore wind industry, and aims to support cost reductions for the country's projects.

Hitachi Zosen is executing the works under a partnership with Kyoto University and Toyo Construction Co. Ltd. The decision to engage Universal Foundation was based on a comparative assessment of various foundation types for a 15-turbine wind farm.

On an EPCI cost assessment, it was concluded that the mono bucket is the most cost-effective and has the potential to shorten the length of the construction period, making it an attractive overall solution for the specific wind farm, the company said.

“This project enables early engagement in the developing offshore market in Japan. We can provide support with our knowledge from Europe and the US on suction technology and how the Mono Bucket technology can be applied in Japan,” said Søren A. Nielsen, Head of Technology at Universal Foundation.

In May 2016, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MILT) amended the country's Port and Harbor law to allow construction and operation of offshore wind farms at port-associated sea areas, which helped kick-start a number of projects.

In December last year, Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) requested the government to introduce a new law which will allow construction of offshore wind farms outside port-related sea areas, emphasizing that the general common sea is much broader and has much larger potential, estimated at around 100GW.