The initial target will be a large-scale 32-gigawatt (GW) offshore wind park project (Round 3 Project) currently being promoted by the British Government as an important national initiative. With support from the British Government as well as from local business partners, MHI will develop new wind turbines incorporating Artemis’s hydraulic drive technology and ramp up its entry into the offshore wind farm market.
The acquisition was implemented by Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, Ltd. (MPSE), an MHI subsidiary that oversees the company’s power systems business in Europe. While Artemis now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of MPSE, its current organization of superior engineers will in principle be maintained in order to continue the development of leading-edge hydraulic power systems, including computer-controlled high-speed solenoid valves applying Artemis’s Digital Displacement(R) technology.
Artemis, established in 1994, is a venture company consisting of a team of engineers and technicians specialized in hydraulic system development. In addition to its hydraulic power drive technology realizing high reliability and superior cost-effectiveness, the company also holds many patents and trademarks in the UK and other countries, including for its core technology of high-capacity, high-speed, digital-controlled valves. The company is undertaking various technology development programs, including one conducted under a grant from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Artemis has 25 employees.
Going forward, MHI will continue to aggressively pursue beneficial acquisitions, capital participations and technological tie-ups in a quest to further accelerate development of its operations globally.
Mitsubishi unveils £100m wind energy research centre in Scotland
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has chosen Scotland as the location for its UK research and development centre will come as another welcome boost to the Scottish Government’s commitment to the low-carbon economy.
The £100m investment over the next five years, which includes £30m from the Department of Energy, will create a Centre for Advanced Technology in Edinburgh. This will develop “a world leading offshore wind turbine with a high degree of technical innovation”. As part of the deal, the company’s also bough the Edinburgh University spin-off, Artemis Intelligent Power (AIP).
The investment will safeguard the 25 existing jobs at AIP in Loanhead and is expected to create another 30 additional high-value engineering positions next year. But over the coming five years, the plan is to grow the business from its current research phase through to mass production. At that point, the company believes it has the potential to create around 200 jobs.
The attraction for Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe is that AIP has been developing an unique hydraulic technology in a large offshore wind turbine, which the company expects to be a “game changer” in the development of offshore wind power.
MPSE’s Chief Executive, Akio Fukui, believes that “the successful development of this technology will make Scotland a key player in the offshore wind supply chain, potentially leading to the development of manufacturing capacity delivering to the Scottish, UK and European markets.
“This builds on our existing partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy on low carbon energy developments, including offshore wind, and we are very pleased to be working with the UK and Scottish Governments to turn this vision into a heavy engineering reality.”
In the view of Dr Win Rampen, Managing Director of AIP, today’s announcement “marks a huge step forward for the development of our game-changing technology. Drawing on the breadth and depth of (Mitsubishi’s) expertise and skills, AIP look forward to accelerating our R&D work with a view to our technology being used in turbines in UK and European waters by 2015.”
Despite the take-over, AIP will continue as an independent technology company and its current organisation of senior engineers will be maintained in order to continue the development of leading-edge hydraulic transmission systems.
The announcement was welcome both by First Minister, Alex Salmond, and by Charles Hendry, the Minister of State for Energy. According to Mr Salmond, “Scotland is a leader in the development of clean green energy and boasts a world-class research and development base that is pioneering technologies that will have a global impact on combating climate change.
“Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe’s announcement of £100 million investment capitalises on Scotland’s strengths in innovation and offshore energy generation. Mitsubishi’s decision to invest in Scotland demonstrates how Scotland’s renewable revolution is gathering pace and that we have the quality infrastructure and skilled workforce to deliver success in this rapidly-growing industry.”
Mr Hendry added that he wanted “the UK to be the world’s number one destination for the research, development and deployment of offshore wind turbines. This announcement is a real vote of confidence in innovation in our renewables sector and I am delighted that the potential of this technology has been recognised by a major global player. This represents exactly the kind of investment we want to encourage in the UK.”
The Scottish Government says that both Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise have been working with MHI and AIP over a number of years to secure the deal. It’s seen as part of a longer term goal of secure substantial inward investment in green energy and to capitalise on this country’s strengths and skills.
“This announcement cements Scotland’s position as the preferred location for groundbreaking offshore wind turbine research and development,” explained Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise.
“With a commitment from Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe to invest up to £100 million over the next five years, and the potential to develop Scotland’s supply chain in this sector, this is fantastic news for Scotland’s existing offshore wind businesses to benefit from a major player locating in Scotland.”
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “Mitsubishi’s acquisition of Artemis Intelligent Power means its world-leading technology, which the Carbon Trust has supported from research through to commercialisation, will now go on to benefit the UK’s wind industry by driving down costs.”
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 7011, ‘MHI’), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world’s leading heavy machinery manufacturers. MHI’s diverse lineup of products and services encompasses shipbuilding, power plants, chemical plants, environmental equipment, steel structures, industrial and general machinery, aircraft, space rocketry and air-conditioning systems.