Thu, Aug 22, 2019 - Page 12 News List

MHI Vestas inks purchase contract with Mitsubhishi

WIND FARMS:Mitsubishi has designed a switchgear that Shihlin Electric would manufacture, test and assemble at its factory, a Shihlin executive has said

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

Denmark-based wind turbine manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S yesterday signed a conditional contract of purchase with Mitsubishi Electric (Europe) Corp.

The Japanese firm is to cooperate with its long-time Taiwanese partner, Shihlin Electric & Engineering Corp (士林電機), to deliver high-voltage switchgear to MHI Vestas.

“Shihlin Electric would deliver [the switchgear] to us by 2022, which would then be used for the [wind farm] projects due in 2023 and 2024,” MHI Vestas co-CEO Lars Bondo Krogsgaard said during a signing ceremony in Taipei.

THREE PROJECTS

MHI Vestas is to deliver 9 megawatt turbine platform units for the Chang Fang (彰芳) and Xidao (西島) projects, developed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S (CIP), as well as for the Site 29 project, which is codeveloped by CIP, China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Diamond Generating Asia Ltd (DGA).

All three projects are located off Changhua County and are to generate a total of 900 megawatts.

Mitsubishi has designed a 66 kilovolt switchgear that Shihlin Electric would manufacture, test and assemble at its Hsinchu plant, said Joseph Kuo (郭約瑟), chief senior vice president of Shihlin Electric’s heavy electric business group, at a news conference.

Krogsgaard said that MHI Vestas would contribute NT$9.2 billion (US$293.31 million) to Taiwan’s output value and create 5,300 job opportunities through its ventures in the nation.

The Danish company has signed contracts with other local suppliers, such as Swancor Holding Co (上緯投控) for blade materials and Chin Fong Machine Industrial Co (金豐機器工業) for turbine towers, to comply with localization content rules tied to offshore wind farm projects in Taiwan.

CALL FOR FLEXIBILITY

However, Krogsgaard called for more flexibility from Taiwanese authorities, as he described the localization of power conversions systems as “mission impossible,” as property rights belong to Vestas Wind Systems A/S, which holds a 50 percent stake in the company.

“We cannot work with others without infringing on the agreements that we have with Vestas,” Krogsgaard said, adding that the company has proposed various solutions to the government, such as localizing the production of power conversion modules, which contain more than 7,000 components.

“This would create additional value for Taiwan’s economy,” he said.

CIP Taiwan project office chief executive officer Jesper Krarup Holst also asked for more wiggle room in the local content rules.

“Up to 16 components are required by the government to be localized regardless of brands and assembly techniques,” Holst said.

He urged the government to reidentify the requirements to facilitate the development of Taiwan’s wind power industry.

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