First Minister Alex Salmond today welcomed an announcement by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) that it intends to test its new tidal energy system in Scottish waters.
Japan's KHI will test its new technology at the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, using its expertise in engines, marine propulsion and gas turbines systems to develop a tidal power generation system.
Building on these activities, KHI plans to take part in future large UK, Japanese and global projects to harness renewable energy, creating more possibilities for future collaborations in Scotland.
The company's announcement was also welcomed by Scottish Development International (SDI), which has been integral in making the connections between KHI, EMEC and the Scottish Government to enable KHI to test its technology in Scotland.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"I am delighted that KHI has decided to trial its new tidal power generation system in Scottish waters, at the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. It is a very welcome recognition of Scotland's vast marine renewables potential.
"Japan is one of the great industrial nations of the world and I am encouraged that it shares Scotland's vision of building on a strong engineering heritage to harness our natural resources and generate clean, renewable power that can reduce harmful emissions and tackle global climate change.
"Scotland has around one quarter of Europe's tidal energy resource and a growing expertise in offshore renewables and I am determined that we continue to encourage world-leading companies like KHI to work with us in developing pioneering technologies that can power the economies of the future and benefit the generations that follow us."
Anne MacColl, chief executive, Scottish Development International, said:
"KHI's decision to trial its new tidal power generation system at EMEC is testament to Scotland's growing international reputation in emerging low carbon technologies.
"Global companies such as KHI are being drawn to Scotland thanks to our natural resources and expertise as well as our commitment and ambition towards forging a low carbon future.
"Through our teams in Tokyo, Japan and in Scotland we were able to provide KHI with extensive support and guidance. During their visits to Scotland last year we were also able to make the key introductions to EMEC and the Scottish Government. We now look forward to working in partnership with other agencies to help make this test programme a reality."
Richard Morris, commercial director, EMEC said:
"EMEC is delighted to have signed a contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to use our tidal test site at the Fall of Warness, in Orkney. To have Kawasaki, a large multinational company, carrying out vital technology development work at EMEC, the world's first and only accredited wave and tidal test site, demonstrates our world-leading position, which further cements Scotland at the forefront of the renewable energy industry.
"Our site is home to technology developers from across the globe, and our ongoing aim is to expand our operations in key locations including the Americas, Asia and continental Europe. There are significant wave and tidal resources in all of these areas and it is key that we continue to work with developers worldwide, to ensure we maintain and further grow our reputation for excellence both as a test centre and consultancy provider."
The Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) Group is a leading global manufacturer of transportation and industrial equipment, comprising about 100 subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan and around the world.
The Group boasts a comprehensive technological base that encompasses mastery of the land, sea and air. This allows it to offer an impressive lineup of products, including aircraft, rolling stock, marine vessels, power plants, manufacturing equipment and systems. Among the many assets of which it is proud, the Group also manufactures such world-famous consumer products as Kawasaki motorcycles and Jet SkiR watercraft.
With its technological wealth and brand prowess, the Group strives to protect the global environment and contribute to the development of a sustainable society. This is the philosophy that guides the KHI Group's operations.
More devices have been tested at EMEC than any other single site in the world and recent developments at the Orkney facilities highlight the momentum behind marine renewables in Scottish waters.
From just one wave machine in 2004 and one tidal machine in 2006, EMEC will host 10 different full-scale wave and tidal prototype projects by the end of 2011. With 15 clients currently, the tidal site will be fully utilised in the next year, and just one berth remains at the wave test site.
Devices currently at the Centre include those deployed by Open Hydro, Tidal Generation Ltd, ScotRenewables, Voith and Atlantis Resources Corporation on the tidal site, and E.ON (Pelamis), Wello and Aquamarine Power on the wave site.
EMEC was established with around £15 million of funding from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Carbon Trust, the UK Government, Scottish Enterprise, the European Union and Orkney Islands Council.
Scottish Development International (SDI) is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which works to attract inward investment to Scotland and helps Scottish based companies to trade overseas.