Japan’s K Line Joins Shipping Industry Push into Offshore Wind Sector

shipping companiesentry into Japan offshore wind sector
Tokyo Gas announced plans to accelerate the construction of the Kashima Port Offshore Wind Project (Tokyo Gas)

Published Apr 30, 2021 7:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The leading Japanese shipping companies are working to realize opportunities in the emerging offshore wind power industry. With the Japanese government strongly supporting the development of the industry, the shipping companies believe there will be strong business opportunities with the installation, operations, and servicing of the proposed windfarms.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, K Line. has become the latest Japanese shipping company to announce it will establish a new company, K Line Wind Service, to provide marine-related services for offshore wind power business. Previously, NYK, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Mitsui O.S.K. each has also announced new operations and services for the wind sector.

The Japanese Government has outlined a Green Growth Strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. A key component will be the development of the offshore wind sector. According to the Japan Times, the country as of the end of 2020 “generates just 20,000 kilowatts through offshore windfarms and is not even among the top 10 generators using that power source.” Japan has an ambitious goal of generating up to 45 gigawatts of electricity from offshore windfarms by 2040. Based on current projections for the global industry, Japan would become the world’s third-largest generator of offshore wind power.

K Line’s new group will be responsible for working across all of K Line’s business units to explore opportunities in the sector. This will include experience with the operation of offshore support vessels and operations.

Operations will launch with two offshore support vessels currently operated by Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen Kaisha, a domestic division of the group that transports raw materials including coal, ore, wood, and steel in Asia as well as operating domestic ferries and offshore vessels. For the installation of floating offshore wind turbines and landing offshore wind turbines in the coastal area, the Akatsuki is currently available to perform pre-exploration, anchor laying, chain extension, towing, and similar services. The 2,400 dwt vessel will be joined by the Kaiko, an 1,100 dwt offshore support vessel.

The new company is expected to start operations on June 1, subject to approval from the relevant authorities.