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Deep-Sea Water Suction Technology

by Takumi Yamaguchi *, Tetsuo Inoue *, Masao Hirakawa *, Satoru Abe *, Ken’ichi Ishii *2, Toru Kagoura *2 and Masanobu Fujiwara *3


In the area of deep-sea water suction technology, Furukawa Electric has built

an excellent track record of laying eleven deep-sea water suction pipes in seven locations since its first domestic laying in Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture in 1988. During this time, we have introduced various improvements in the laying method as well as in the design of material structures including suction pipes, thereby making it possible to manufacture and install the suction pipes up to 280 mm in diameter, 680 m in laying depth, and 7200 m in pipe length.


While it seems that deep-sea water has got through the boom becoming widespread in our daily lives, Furukawa Electric is maintaining a top share in the business of deep- sea water suction pipes.

It has been fifteen years since we laid the Japan's first deep-sea water suction pipe. During this time, we have introduced various improvements in the installation method and the design of suction pipes to carry out further developments. Explanation of deep-sea water and technological achievements will be presented in this paper.


Although not a very precise definition scientifically, deep- sea water generally refers to sea water that lie in the sea about 200 meters or more in depth where sunlight no more reaches. The characteristics of deep-sea water comprise three elements of “stabilized low temperatures”, “rich nourishment”, and “cleanliness”. Moreover, studies have recently advanced to draw attention to “maturity” and “richness in minerals”.

Thus efforts are being made in various fields to utilize deep-sea water as a new natural resource, taking advantage of such characteristics.

2.1 Application Fields of Deep-Sea Water

Deep-sea water is mainly utilized in such diversified fields as fisheries, food and beverages, environmental

conservation, health-beauty-and-medical, energy and resource, and agriculture. Each field is making efforts to study, develop, and practically apply deep-sea water leveraging its characteristics.

With respect to its rich nourishment, for instance, the water is expected to have much effect on aquafarming of fish and shellfish in the fisheries field as well as on improving meat quality in the livestock field.

In terms of its stabilized low temperatures, efforts are being directed to cultivate -- in a warm-temperature region-- fish, shellfish, seaweeds, vegetables, and highland vegetables that belong to cold regions by nature. Also, possibilities of applying the water to cooling water for power stations and to ocean thermal energy conversion generation are being investigated entering into the stage of practical studies.

What is more, beer, shampoo, and isotonic drink are already in the marketplace, taking advantage of the maturity and richness in minerals of the water.

Fisheries field

* Cultivation and production of juvenile fish, shellfish, and seaweeds

* Ice making (for freshness preservation)

* Laundering of fish and

Food and beverages field

* Production of varieties of food and beverages

Environmental conservation

* Countermeasure against rocky-shore denudation, Purification of seawater

* Immobilization of CO2

Deep-sea water utilized in various fields


Energy and resource field

* Facilities air-conditioning and industrial cooling water

* Ocean thermal energy conversion generation

* Production of freshwater

Figure 1 Application fields of deep-sea water.

Agricultural field

* Cultivation of agricultural products with controlled production and shipment

* Production of fertilizers for hydroponics

Health-beauty-and-medical field

* Thalassotherapy

* Curing of atopic dermatitis

* Production of natural health


* Production of cosmetics

* Electric Power Engineering Dept., Power Cables Div.

*2 Energy Transmission Research Dept., Ecology & Energy


*3 Power Cable Production Dept., Power Cables Div.

Furukawa Review, No. 24 2003 75

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