NSRI to explore opportunities in Japan
In partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) went on a trade mission to Japan from 16-20 November to explore the opportunities in subsea mining and renewables across East Asia.
The office was to explore ongoing initiatives that have been put in place to identify and harvest methane hydrates and conduct seabed mining in Japan, and identify how UK companies can help to satisfy the country’s vast energy needs.
The trade mission exposed several British companies, many of them from North-east Scotland, to detailed market insights and connected them with the key players in the industry, as they look to exploit the export opportunities in the world’s third largest economy.
These companies were given the opportunity to showcase their products and services to Japanese companies including Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Mitsui, and got the chance to network with technical societies and industry bodies. They also learned about Japan’s growing subsea industry and the opportunities that exist around development of offshore resources.
Gordon Drummond, project director at NSRI said: “Japan is the established home of innovation and has expertise in a wide range of industries, particularly in technology. This knowledge base is of particular interest to UK companies that are looking for mature markets in which to showcase their products and services.
“The trade mission allowed us to gain access to detailed market insights and form partnerships that will help to build stronger business links with Japan’s energy industry.”
Following the shutdown of the country’s nuclear reactors in the wake of 2011’s tsunami nuclear crisis, Japan has gone in search of new energy supplies.
The government wants to increase renewables from 10 percent of its energy mix to 24 percent by 2030, further reducing its reliance on gas, coal and nuclear.
It is estimated around 1.1 trillion cubic metres of natural gas lies in the ocean floor off the coast of Shikoku island, western Japan.
Subsea mining has come into the fore in recent years, particularly in the Pacific, which has vast quantities of seabed mineral deposits.
Dr Drummond said UK firms could play a major role in helping Japan meet its energy targets, exporting the wealth of skills, innovation and experience honed in the North Sea. There was much to be gained from doing business and investing in Japan, he said. “The country offers a stable economy, a reliable tax regime, an internationally oriented infrastructure and is well known for embracing new technology. By continuing to work closely with SDI we can identify the emerging opportunities and seek to promote partnerships with UK companies in Japan.”