Hitachi Zosen Corporation (Hitz), the parent company of the Swiss waste-to-energy technology provider Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), is changing its name. From 1 October 2024, the Japanese group will do business as Kanadevia Corporation. "Kanadevia" is a neologism that comes from the Japanese verb "kanaderu", which means "to play music in harmony", and "via" (Latin for "way" or "method"), according to the group. It is not yet clear whether its subsidiaries such as HZI will also be renamed. The specific situation for each company had to be identified before a formal decision was made, a Hitz spokesperson told EUWID.
The Japanese group was established as Osaka Iron Works in 1881 and was renamed Hitachi Zosen in 1943. With its latest new name, the group wants to "build a new history as a corporate group that applies the power of technology to create a world that lives in harmony with nature,” the firm said in a press release issued in late September.
Hitachi Zosen is one of Japan’s leading industrial and engineering companies. While its focus had long been on shipbuilding, steel structures and industrial machinery, the group said that it was today mainly expanding in the fields of decarbonisation, resource recycling and urban development.
Hitz generated group sales of JPY493bn (ca. €3.4bn) and operating profits of JPY20bn (€139m) during the 2022/23 financial year closed on 31 March. The Environment division made the biggest contribution to group sales and earnings, with sales of JPY348bn and operating income of JPY15bn. The Environment division’s activities include manufacturing components for waste-to-energy plants, biomass power plants, biogas plants and water and wastewater treatment plants.
Hitz booked almost two-fifths of the Environment division’s sales outside Japan, with the Swiss firm Hitachi Zosen Inova serving as its biggest subsidiary. Inova posted sales of approximately JPY139bn and income of JPY7.0bn for the 2022/23 financial year. Looking ahead to the current 2023/24 financial year, the group’s management expects another significant growth in sales to JPY168bn and a rise in operating income to JPY9.2bn.
Biogas has considerable growth potential
While Hitz management believes that the high market share of its waste-to-energy business made it unlikely that this division would experience considerable additional growth, the firm thinks that biogas plant construction and operation offer significant potential. The company reported that its order intake for anaerobic digestion plants had almost doubled in the past financial year to reach JPY15bn.
As recently as late September, Hitachi Zosen Inova announced a new project in Italy. HZI is set to build and, for the first time, operate an anaerobic wet digestion plant in Pianfei, 90 kilometres south of Turin in the Piedmont region. Featuring a line with two digesters, two secondary digesters and a fermentation residue store, the plant will treat up to 42,500 tonnes of organic material each year to produce biogas and upgrade it into green natural gas in a downstream unit with a biomethane production capacity of up to 400 cubic metres per hour. The plant will process a feedstock mix consisting of manure, slurry, agricultural by-products, cocoa bean residues, risk husk flour and wholemeal flour.
Construction is set to start shortly, with operations slated to commence by the end of 2024. HZI described the facility in Pianfei as part of a broader plan to develop a cluster of plants in the region. Altogether, HZI aims to generate more than 1 TWh of renewable gas at its own plants in Italy, including 35 GWh at the site in Pianfei.