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EMEC in further global expansion

EMEC in further global expansion
Orkney's European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is to help Japan build its own test centre for wave and tidal energy devices.

Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is to help Japan build its own test centre for wave and tidal energy devices.

EMEC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan (OEAJ), which could see it giving advice and support on the design, set-up and operation of the Japanese Marine Energy Centre (JMEC).

Japan has been looking at renewable alternatives following the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Japanese firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries last year confirmed it would test a newly-developed tidal energy system at EMEC.

The memorandum comes as the centre in Orkney has gained increasing recognition for its work and follows a similar agreement in China.

Founded in 2003, EMEC now has more grid-connected devices at the full-scale wave and tidal testing facilities than at any other single site in the world, and is now financially self-sustaining.

With a potentially global market, Richard Morris, EMEC’s commercial director, said it was hoped there are more opportunities for similar work so that the centre could evolve an international consultancy business.

“There are only so many berths at EMEC and they are going to get full,” he said.

“EMEC is uniquely placed in terms of providing consultancy support to countries wishing to set up marine energy test sites and this is an excellent opportunity for Scotland to assist and work alongside our colleagues in Japan, identifying synergies to boost this new and exciting industry for the benefit of the country and its economy.”

By offering a package showing how to create a test site and also create the right environment around the site, including building a supply chain, EMEC could help them, Mr Morris said, and expand its own activities.

Professor Takeshi Kinoshita, chairman of OEAJ, said: “OEAJ is very pleased to be working with EMEC, the world’s most experienced marine and tidal test facility to provide advice and support on the design, set-up and operation of the Japanese Marine Energy Centre.”

EMEC is a limited company owned by Orkney Islands Council, the Carbon Trust and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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