Osbit Power supplies Japan’s first offshore wind farm with revolutionary safety equipment

North East engineering firm Osbit Power, part of the Energi Coast steering group, has signed a contract to provide a MaXccess offshore crew transfer system for use in Japan. The system will work as part of the ‘Fukushima Forward’ project, a scheme which will create Japan’s first offshore wind farm and reinvigorate the region following 2011’s natural and nuclear disasters.

It is hoped that the project will help Fukushima to become the centre of Japan’s emerging alternative power industry. It also aims to aid economic recovery from the damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The project has been implemented by a large consortium, led by Marubeni Corp.

The revolutionary MaXccess T-18 access system, will allow engineers safe access to the 2MW downwind floating turbine and the 66kV floating sub-station, which are situated in deep and rough waters, 20km off the coast of Japan.

The MaXccess-T18 system has been installed on the project’s crew transfer vessel J-Cat One, which was built by Veka Shipbuilding in The Netherlands and is the first dedicated offshore wind crew boat in Japan.

Tony Trapp, Managing Director at Osbit Power, said: “We are very proud to be contributing a leading system to this pioneering project. Ensuring that engineers can construct and access these new wind farms at the same levels of safety and regularity as engineers working on UK wind is vital. Financial assistance from DECC has been a great help in establishing Osbit as a leading supplier of access systems.

MaXccess systems are a proven, simple solution for safe high sea state access and have been in commercial use with leading firms, including Siemens, Statoil and Dong on major projects since 2012. They are simple, reliable, low maintenance and do not require an additional crew member to operate them. Most importantly, they increase safety and predictability of transfers, eliminating vertical and horizontal bow movement, which can be very hazardous. MaXccess has a number of fail-safe features to optimise safety.”

Joanne Leng, Deputy Chairman of the North East of England’s offshore renewables group, Energi Coast, said: “It is great to see one of our members becoming a supplier to such a ground-breaking and historic project. Technology that has been designed and distributed in North East of England, being used on a major project such as this, halfway around the globe, really underlines that the region is a cutting-edge, world leader when it comes to this type of engineering.”