CSBC unveils alliance to tap demand for offshore wind marine services

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 11, 2019 - Page 12

CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台灣國際造船) yesterday unveiled an alliance to tap into demand — valued at about NT$30 billion (US$974.6 million) annually — for marine services from Taiwan’s emerging offshore wind energy sector.

The nation’s only listed shipbuilder said it inked a memorandum of understanding with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), Taiwan Navigation Co Ltd (台航) and state-run Taiwan International Port Corp (TIPC, 台灣港務) to combine the capabilities of Taiwan’s leading shipping and marine engineering companies.

The companies aim to lend their expertise to provide towing and transport for components and materials used to build offshore wind turbines, as well as maintenance services for construction vessels, before tackling advanced vessel repairs, search and rescue operations, and personnel training, CSBC chairman Cheng Wen-lon (鄭文隆) told a news conference.

Yang Ming Marine said it would train crew to transport oversized components on long-haul voyages, while Taiwan Navigation would provide experience in towing and dockside operations.

TIPC said that it has fleets of specialized vessels to perform surveying, towing, lifting and maintenance duties at commercial ports in Taiwan, and is to take delivery of two 6,400 horsepower towing vessels to meet demands for offshore wind projects.

TIPC would provide 47 vessels of various types and 409 crew, it said.

The companies said that a separate joint venture might be formed as they accumulate experience and build revenue streams through partnerships with foreign developers.

Meanwhile, CSBC reported a net loss of NT$2.29 billion for last year, narrowing from a loss of NT$3.04 billion in 2017, as the company continues to face pressure from a downturn in the global cargo shipping sector.

Revenue dipped 20.7 percent annually to NT$13.01 billion, it said.

While demand for new cargo vessels has remained in a slump, CSBC said that it has been diversifying into offshore wind projects and military contracts.

Shipbuilding still accounted for 90 percent of CSBC’s revenue last year, it said.

CSBC said it hopes to have its topline support evenly split between commercial and military shipbuilding, and offshore wind power projects.