Wed, Mar 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

CSC to decide on wind investment

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Representatives of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Taiwan Life Insurance Co yesterday in Taipei announce an agreement under which Taiwan Life is to invest in offshore wind power generators and transmission.

Photo: CNA

China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) yesterday said it would decide on the size of its investment in an offshore wind power joint venture in June at the earliest.

The nation’s largest steelmaker earlier this month announced that it is teaming up with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and the Changhua County Government to jointly develop three offshore wind farms on the nation’s west coast, with a total investment of more than NT$210 billion (US$7.18 billion).

“We are still assessing the details of the whole project,” CSC chairman Wong Chao-tung (翁朝棟) said on the sidelines of a news conference in Taipei, adding that the company is willing to expand its presence in the nation’s emerging wind power market.

CSC, whose major shareholders include the Ministry of Economic Affairs, aims to help build a local supply chain for wind turbines through collaboration with its business partners, he said.

As part of its plan to develop the offshore wind energy business, CSC is to build production lines for wind turbine underwater foundations at Kaohsiung’s Singda Harbor (興達港), he added.

Over the next few years, the steelmaker is to allocate a budget of nearly NT$6 billion to construct the production lines, which are expected to become operational by the end of next year.

CSC provided a conservative outlook on its earnings this year.

Despite robust demand for steel products worldwide, the risk of uncertainty in the global steel industry is rising after the US government announced punitive tariffs on imports of steel products, the company said.

CSC last year sold about 6,000 tonnes of steel products to US clients, less than 1 percent of its total sales volume, company data showed.

“The proposed tariffs would only have a very limited impact on CSC’s revenue this year, but that might lead to price volatility in major steel markets,” company assistant vice president Y.C. Han (韓義忠) told the Taipei Times.

US President Donald Trump’s protectionist measures are forecast to result in further price hikes in the US market, putting pressure on the operations of downstream companies, Han said.

US steel prices reached US$932 per tonne this week, up from about US$800 at the end of last month, while steel prices in Asian markets hovered at US$600 per tonne, he said, citing market statistics.

The expected reduction of US steel imports is likely to encourage more steel exports to Europe, causing fluctuations in steel prices there, CSC said.

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