Japanese shipping giant Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has strengthened its support for marine renewables with an investment in Wales-based ocean energy tech developer Bombora Wave Power.
The investment of an undisclosed amount builds on the collaboration agreement MOL announced in January last year to explore potential wave power projects in Japan and across the region.
Bombora has developed a patented membrane-style wave energy converter, mWave, which can be deployed on different platforms to suit nearshore or offshore ocean environment. The device is said to simultaneously address the cost of energy and ocean wave survivability challenges, whilst delivering a utility scale solution.
MOL said Bombora will use the funds to further the development and operational capability of its wave energy converter, including the completion of its 1.5 MW validation project due to be installed off the Pembrokeshire coast in the coming months. The Japanese owner added that it would also be looking to increase the reach of the InSPIRE platform in Japan, a hybrid system Bombora developed with TechnipFMC, where mWave is integrated onto a floating wind platform.
In October last year, MOL and Bombora received a subsidy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan for a proposed wave energy project in Mauritius, as part of MOL’s natural environmental protection and recovery projects and social contribution activities after the grounding of its chartered bulker Wakashio in July 2020.
In addition to wave power, Japan’s largest shipowner by fleet numbers has recently moved to evaluate floating offshore wind opportunities in the country in a partnership with Flotation Energy, building on the 2 GW portfolio of offshore wind floater projects the Edinburgh-based developer has in Japan.