Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced that its verification research of feasibility and dissemination of combined use of deep ocean water with Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) in Mauritius, in cooperation with Xenesys Inc. and Saga University, was selected by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as part of an initiative aimed at speeding up the commercialization of ocean renewable energy.
s explained, OTEC technology generates power using differences in the temperature of seawater, which is warmer at the surface and colder at lower depths. It pumps cold water from deep sea areas below 600m and uses the difference with warmer surface water to extract energy.
A unique feature of OTEC is that it is not affected by weather, which makes it more stable. In addition, the cold marine deepwater, even after it is used for power generation, is unchanged and still at a low enough temperature for secondary use in various fields, such as fisheries, agriculture, and air conditioning. Because of these characteristics, OTEC is drawing attention as a sustainable power generation technology.
Research on OTEC is progressing in Hawaii, South Korea, and Nauru, but it has yet to be commercialized. MOL aims to commercialize OTEC power generation as soon as possible in Japan and overseas by operating the Kumejima OTEC demonstration facility and conducting the verification research in Mauritius, also by utilizing the knowledge and know-how accumulated through its various offshore business and its supply chain network.
MOL has implemented a range of activities to protect and restore the environment and contribute to local communities in Mauritius since July 2020, when an MOL-chartered bulk carrier, the Wakashio, grounded off the island.