MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) - Japan is considering investing $1.5 billion in a Norwegian-produced floating natural gas-fired power plant, as the country looks for new and safer ways to produce electricity following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
“The power situation in Japan after the Fukushima disaster has encouraged us to propose this solution,” Fredrik Major, the head of Sevan Marine ASA, a Norwegian offshore installation manufacturer, was quoted as saying by the agency.
Arendal-based Sevan Marine ASA wishes to build a floating cylindrical platform with a diameter of 106 meters (348 feet) off the coast of Japan and install power equipment, including turbine generators from Siemens AG. Japan’s IHI Corporation may supply storage tanks for liquefied gas and potentially build the bull, Bloomberg reported.
Japanese authorities are “very interested in the floating power project” and would like to “support marketing of the facility both at home and abroad,” Japan’s transport ministry told the agency.
“We are now focusing on mainly floating offshore wind, but we want to push various types of technical development and research,” Toshimitsu Motegi, a politician of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
The floating plant would have 700 megawatts of capacity and could be anchored anywhere from 5 to 50 kilometers off the shore, according to Sevan Marine.
The company submitted its proposal to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in May and intends to hold meetings with Japanese authorities later this year.
While the Norwegian-Japanese project proposes building a floating power plant that would create electricity by burning liquefied natural gas, Russia’s state-run Rosatom nuclear agency is set to unveil the world’s first floating nuclear power plant in 2016.
Floating power plants would be able to provide electricity to remote regions while being less susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, the cause of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.
In 2011, the largest nuclear incident since the Chernobyl disaster took place in Japan. The accident occurred when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was hit by a 14-meter (46-foot) tsunami, triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
The tsunami caused a meltdown of several of the plant's reactors and leakage of radioactive materials. Some 140,000 people were evacuated from settlements near the plant, many of whom have been unable to return to their homes due to high levels of contamination in the area.