Navarra explores business collaborations with Japan in Renewable Energies and the aeronautics and aerospace industry

140324 Empresa Tokuyama 2

A delegation from Navarra headed by the Second Vice-President and Regional Minister for Memory and Coexistence, External Action and the Basque Language, Ana Ollo, together with Iñigo Arruti, Director General of Business Development, held various meetings with the Japanese firms Tokuyama (a chemical company specialising in hydrogen) and Hibiki Seiki (dedicated to the aeronautical sector). The meetings were held as part of the official visit to the Japanese region of Yamaguchi on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of Fraternity between that region and Navarre.

The meeting held with the heads of Hibiki Seiki is a continuation of the contact that this corporation held last February with the Navarrese company Microlan during its visit to the region. At that time, a series of meeting points were established, which they now wish to reinforce and consolidate with this second meeting. As an example of the interest aroused, five companies from the Japanese aerospace cluster attended this time: AXIS Corporation, ONEX Corporation, Kuroiso Seisakusho Corporation, Sinwa Seiko Corporation and Fui High Pressure Flexible Hose Corporation.

Aerospace is an incipient sector in Navarra, closely linked to technological development and R&D&I which, in recent years, thanks to new technologies and the development of advanced mechatronics, has led to the development of new projects in the region. Navarre even presented Estella (around the Miguel de Eguía Technology Centre) as a possible headquarters for the Spanish Space Agency, although it was not chosen in the end.


The other industrial line with shared interests and the possibility of exchanging experiences between Navarre and Yamaguchi is that of renewable energies, in general, and hydrogen in particular. In this case, the company visited by the Navarrese delegation was Tokuyama Corporation, which has a line of activity in electrolysers and hydrogen – in addition to other production sectors – and is a corporation with a long tradition in Japan (it was founded in 1918), international projection (also in Europe) and which stands out for its low level of polluting emissions.

Navarra is an exponent of the commitment to renewable energies in general (wind and solar) and is also contemplating hydrogen as an alternative in a decarbonisation dynamic recommended by the European Union. Steps have recently been taken to start up the new green hydrogen plant in Tudela, as the Government of Navarra has authorised the Ciudad Agroalimentaria de Tudela to contract a private partner to set up a mixed capital company to build and develop this plant.

The green energy industry is one of the smart specialisation sectors that Navarre includes in its recently renewed S4. There are more than 100 companies related to renewable energies in the region, directly or indirectly employing more than 10,000 people and with a turnover that represents 8.5% of Navarre’s GDP. The region also has CENER, the national reference centre for renewable energy R&D, as well as a specific cluster, Enercluster. In fact, the Japanese delegation visited these facilities in January.