Orkney based energy and environmental consultancy Aquatera Ltd has further strengthened ties with Japan, becoming a member of a key industry association in the country and entering into a partnership with a leading Japanese offshore operations company.
The Stromness based firm is now a member of the non-profit Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association (NaMICPA), which helps support the development of marine renewables in Japan and stimulate further international collaboration.
Meanwhile, Aquatera has forged an official new partnership with leading Japanese dive operator and offshore operations company, Shibuya Diving Industry, Co.
These new alliances underline Aquatera’s deepening connections with Japan and highlight the support the firm can offer globally from its base in Orkney.
Aquatera has become a supporting member of NaMICPA, with the company’s portfolio of skills recently introduced to NaMICPA member companies involved in the development of a marine energy test site similar to Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
Mr Sakai (Chairman of NaMICPA), said: “With a focus on marine renewables, the association has been set up to promote marine industry in Nagasaki, supporting businesses within the prefecture via a network of industry, academia and government, as well as international stakeholders.
“Aquatera has a strong connection with Nagasaki, established through several reciprocal visits over recent years, so we are delighted that they have become a cluster member. Based in the Orkney Islands and having worked on many marine renewables projects there and internationally, Aquatera has valuable and wide ranging expertise. We look forward to working actively with Aquatera to successfully progress the development of marine renewables here in Nagasaki.”
Ian Johnstone, Aquatera’s Head of Onshore Technology and Community, said: “Aquatera has built a strong relationship with the NaMIPCA in Nagasaki during a number of visits to the area and during their visits to Orkney. We are delighted to cement this relationship by joining the association and see this as the next step in supporting the local companies delivering a test site for Nagasaki.”
Mr Johnstone also highlighted how the official new partnership with Shibuya Diving laid the foundation for future collaborations on key marine energy projects in Japan and South Asia.
He said: “We have built up a very good relationship with Shibuya Diving over the past few years and it was clear to us from the outset that this was a company which shared our environmental ethos. Importantly, Shibuya Diving has been working in collaboration with local fishermen and maritime communities around Japan, building friendly and supportive relationships, which is something we see as essential for the success of any marine energy project.
“With our involvement in Japan’s emerging marine energy industry now increasing and our South Asia portfolio of environmental and energy related projects growing rapidly, it made sense for us to formalise our partnership with Shibuya Diving to ensure both firms are well placed to benefit from the opportunities out there. We’re really excited about this next stage in the relationship and look forward sharing our knowledge and expertise to help drive forward key maritime, environmental and energy projects, both in Japan and indeed here in Orkney.”
Based in Hiratsuka in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, Shibuya Diving has extensive experience of working on major marine construction and environmental projects. Aquatera, meanwhile, has been operating in Japan since 2011, supporting local prefectures looking to develop marine energy test sites similar to EMEC.
Mr Shibuya, owner and CEO of Shibuya Diving said, “We are delighted to be able to work together with Aquatera on marine renewable energy projects. Aquatera has extensive experience of marine renewable energy projects all over the world and works closely with EMEC. I expect that we will work together providing advice and suggestions on suitable marine renewable energy projects that respect the natural environment of the sea. I am very excited about working together.”
Aquatera has hosted five delegations from Japan over the past year, including two in 2016. In addition, the company arranged a return visit to Orkney last year for a group of students from Kamaishi Super Science High School.
Aquatera’s Managing Director, Gareth Davies, said the consultancy’s relationship with its colleagues in Japan remained a top priority.
“I am delighted to see the activity in Japan moving to real action and collaboration to take the sector forward,” he said. “It is a great example of effective partnership working that we do so well in Orkney. Aquatera has been working closely with EMEC, ICIT (Heriot-Watt University) and development agencies at home and in Japan to generate work across Orkney’s supply chain to export our expertise to this exciting new market.”