Aberdeen signs Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese city Muroran to boost energy sector growth

Aberdeen City Council has entered a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japanese city Muroran today (Friday 03 September). Both cities have a mutual interest in new energy business development focussing on sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A virtual signing ceremony took place which saw the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett sign the MoU on behalf of Aberdeen City Council in the Townhouse and the Mayor of Muroran City, Takeshi Aoyama sign in Muroran on behalf of Muroran City.

The MoU aims to establish and develop the relationship between the cities for an effective long-term relationship in the energy industry. The primary focus will be on the hydrogen industry with a priority action to investigate the potential of using the Northern Sea Route, a shipping lane between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, crossing five Artic Seas, for the export and import of green hydrogen.

Muroran City is a coastal port city in Northern Japan and is well known for steel, oil and cement industries in addition to shipping. However, in recent years, Muroran has become one of Japan’s sustainable cities, and is leading the way to becoming an ‘Eco-Industrial Hub City’ by focussing environmental businesses in the industrial city as a way of regaining vitality. Projects that will contribute to the creation of the ‘hub’ include waste plastic recycling, wastewater purification system and a portable fuel cell capable of generating hydrogen using finely pulverized aluminium.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “I am delighted to sign this important Memorandum of Understanding with Muroran City on behalf of the City of Aberdeen.

“Energy Transition is at the forefront of all Aberdeen City Council’s activities with our work in hydrogen playing a vital role in the city’s Net Zero Vision. Our work in renewable energy is particularly pertinent given my role as President of the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP) and its energy transition strategy.

“This partnership provides a huge opportunity for growth to both cities, and we are looking forward to working with Muroran and continuing to develop our hydrogen industry through this cooperation.”

The Mayor of Muroran City, Takeshi Aoyama said “I am delighted that the Memorandum of Understanding was concluded between Aberdeen and Muroran, and I have great expectations for the future development of both cities.

“Both Aberdeen and Muroran have a highly qualified port that plays an important role in the energy industry, so as the need for worldwide decarbonisation increases, the deepened cooperation between us will make a significant contribution to the creation of a net-zero society.

“I visited Aberdeen two years ago, and I know how lovely and wonderful a city it is. In the future, I hope to expand the scope of our collaboration not only in the energy field, such as in hydrogen and offshore wind power, but also in education and culture so that both of our cities can further grow. We look forward to working together with Aberdeen to decarbonise society for the future of the Earth.”

The signatory cities will review the impact of the MoU in Autumn 2024.