Firms sign multimillion offshore wind farm MOU

ENERGY::CSG said it plans to build essential steel lattice structures used to build wind farm foundations in a proposed Kaohsiung factory as part of its collaboration

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 12

China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Diamond Generating Asia Ltd (DGA) to pool about NT$27 billion (US$889 million) to jointly develop an offshore wind farm on Taiwan’s west coast.

The three companies plan to set up a consortium next year to develop the No. 29 offshore wind energy concession zone obtained by CSC, the nation’s biggest steel maker.

The Kaohsiung-based CSC said they plan to invest between NT$80 billion and NT$90 billion to install about 50 wind turbines in the water, which will have an annual capacity of 500 megawatts. The companies plan to seek bank loans to finance 70 percent of the investment for the construction of the wind farm.

“The collaboration will create a supplementary effect,” CSC chairman Wong Chao-tung (翁朝棟) told a media briefing in Taipei. “Taiwan lacks the experience and technology to develop offshore wind energy. The nation also needs financial planning expertise and industrial know-how to operate a wind farm. We are glad to team up with the world’s major offshore wind energy developer CIP and wind turbine maker DGA.”

CSC on Sept. 25 received conditional approval for its environmental impact assessment for the No. 29 concession zone from the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) ad hoc committee. It is the second wind farm EPA approval granted to a local company.

On Sept. 11, two Hai Long Offshore Wind Farm Project Office’s (海龍離岸風電計畫辦公室) projects received conditional EPA approval.

Hai Long is a Canada-based joint venture between Northern Power Development Co and Singapore-based Yushan Energy Pte Ltd that was formed in 2015.

CSC said the companies aim to win a permit to build the offshore wind farm by the end of 2019, if they clear the second phase of government review next year.

The government aims to provide 6.5 gigawatts of wind energy via Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) by 2021.

Apart from the No. 29 offshore wind farm site, CSC said it is preparing to bid on a smaller site owned by Taipower to build an experimental offshore wind farm.

The company also plans to build a factory in Kaohsiung to produce jacket structures, which form key structural support for the steel foundations of wind farms, Wong said.

CSC has a good chance to become a jacket supplier to CIP, as the Danish company is to build three offshore wind farms by itself, he said.

“Taiwan is our first choice for developing offshore energy in Asia. We see this establishment in Taiwan as a first step in a long and successful journey,” CIP chief executive officer Jesper Krarup Holst said.

CIP expects the three offshore wind farms to have a total capacity of 1.5 gigawatts, which would be sufficient energy for 1.4 million households.

The company hopes to have its environmental impact assessment permit by the end of the year.