On February 9, I visited the Minato Works (Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture) of J-Power Systems (JPS), one of our subsidiaries. This company manufactures power cables for power transmission and distribution, and overhead power transmission lines. The purpose of my visit to the works was to participate in ceremonies for safety prayers and equipment startup for the integrated power cable manufacturing line newly introduced at the Minato Works.
The project to introduce the equipment at the Minato Works commenced in 2015, a beginning step in expanding our power cable business globally. Although the domestic business environment is somewhat sluggish, there is active demand for high voltage power cables for offshore wind power generation in foreign countries, especially in Europe and Asia. Although the cost competition is becoming fiercer, we would like to leverage the integrated manufacturing line at the Minato Works in expanding our overseas power cable business. While our plan is to begin fully operating the line in April, it will greatly help in developing our power cable business, in which we have been active since our establishment.
After the startup ceremony, I observed a shipment of a high-voltage direct current cable for a large project connecting the UK and Belgium with power transmission cables (for Nemo Link). Although I have seen power cables themselves many times so far, directly watching such a cable being loaded onto a ship made me realize the product's amazing scale. This is the world's first direct current 400-kV cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulated cable, and is an important project that has enabled us to be the first non-European corporate group to receive an order for such a European international interconnection. I hope the cable's installation will go smoothly until its completion scheduled in 2019, and will continue to be used locally without any trouble.
Both the startup ceremony and the shipment of the power cable to Europe were made possible thanks to continuous efforts in manufacturing, development and sales sectors, as well as by many others who have supported us. I would like to once again express my appreciation to all those involved. We would like to continue taking on challenges in expanding our power cable business through the united efforts of all our employees.