Ramboll, a Denmark-based engineering, design and consultancy company, announced that Obayashi Corporation has hired it to develop a detailed foundation design for a new offshore wind farm, which it says will become one of the largest in Japan.
“There is a giant potential for Ramboll in Japan. At the same time, however, the geographic location is very challenging for offshore wind turbines. The area has a reputation for both earthquakes and typhoons, which require certain foundation design standards to withstand the giant forces of nature,” said Søren Juel Petersen, Global Market Director for Offshore Wind, Ramboll.
“Ramboll has designed foundations for over half of all offshore wind farms worldwide, so with their experience and expertise we feel completely confident with the long-service life of the offshore wind farm, even if the conditions are challenging in Japan,” said Taku Kurimoto, General Manager, Obayashi Corporation.
Japan is late to the offshore wind market with only 65 MW of installed capacity to date and the company believes that there are pros and cons to that. On the one hand, the new market holds great potential but on the other hand, the lack of suppliers for all the necessary services needed to build an offshore wind farm such as installation vessels, could be challenging for the country.
Ramboll also plans to set up an office in Tokyo.
“Local presence and cultural understanding are crucial for companies with the intention of doing business in Japan. It is not sufficient only to offer knowledge from projects outside Japan with the belief that this is enough. E.g. the design regulations are not intended for offshore wind turbines, and therefore local knowledge combined with global experience is crucial for developing joint solutions,”, said Rambolls’ Petersen.
Japan hopes to install up to 4,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2040.