Japanese shipping giant Mitsui OSK Lines is continuing its move into offshore wind with a new investment.

The company has taken an unspecified stake in Dutch start-up TouchWind, which is developing a new floating turbine system with a single-piece rotor.

The tilting, angled blade is expected to reduce the wind interference between turbines that tends to occur in large wind farms.

This will improve overall power generation efficiency, TouchWind claims.

The design is able to operate in strong winds and has a lower weight than other turbines.

MOL had earlier signed a cooperation agreement to work on the technology.

Ryota Hayashi, general manager responsible for wind power projects at MOL, said: “We are pleased that we can continue the journey with TouchWind and have become a shareholder of the company as we see exciting potential in their technology.”

TouchWind has been working on the system since 2019.

In July this year, the start-up secured cash from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to make up to 10 turbines of 12 kW with a six-metre diameter for testing.

Between 2024 and 2025, TouchWind will trial these on land and sea in the Netherlands.

Testing to be speeded up

Founder and chief executive Rikus van de Klippe welcomed MOL as a shareholder.

“We have been working together for over a year now on the further development of our tilting angled one-piece rotor floating wind turbine.”

“With MOL as a shareholder and their investments, we can speed up our testing programme to prove our technology,” he added.

MOL is targeting wind contracts in Europe, Japan and the rest of Asia through TouchWind.

In June, the group said it had formed a new joint venture to move further into offshore wind vessel operations.

MOL set up a company on a 50/50 basis with domestic group Toyo Construction Co following a collaboration agreement in February focusing on developing a wind farm ship.

MOL is also aiming to expand in the offshore wind farm business through its shareholding in US-based Eneti, which is merging with BW Group-backed shipowner Cadeler in Denmark.