The world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms is weighing nearly US$13 billion of projects in Taiwan, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has not shifted its optimism about the region.
The potential investments by Orsted A/S would include the Greater Changhua 3 wind farm, which it plans to bid for in the next round of auctions if the conditions are “manageable,” Orsted president for Asia-Pacific Matthias Bausenwein said in a telephone interview.
The auction is scheduled for the end of this year, and the company would wait to see the framework and rules for the contest before deciding whether to participate.
Orsted has already built and commissioned Formosa 1 (海洋風電), the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in Taiwan, with joint venture partners. It is also building the Greater Changhua 1 and 2a wind farms, which are estimated to be completed next year or in 2022. Another plan is to build the Greater Changhua 2b and 4 wind farms in 2025.
Total capital expenditure for all four projects, with a capacity of 2.4 gigawatts, is estimated at up to NT$380 billion (US$12.5 billion).
“At the moment, we don’t see the coronavirus changing any of our plan,” Bausenwein said. “Business is as usual. We aim to be a long-term player in Taiwan.”
Orsted on Wednesday said that it is sticking to its guidance for this year, despite the coronavirus, and that its liquidity position is strong.
Funding for the investment would be from Orsted’s own capital and financing from Taiwan’s local financial institutions, as well as bond market, backed by an Orsted parent company guarantee.
The company has issued its first batch of NT$12 billion green bonds in Taiwan, and it might go ahead with another.
In addition to Taiwan, Japan is the next big step for Orsted in the Asia-Pacific region. The company has formed a joint venture with Tokyo Electric Power Co to prepare a bid for an auction at the end of this year.
Taiwan and Japan are both mountainous and rely heavily on fossil fuel imports, with highly populated coastal areas that make offshore wind an ideal renewable energy source.
Taiwan aims to be a leading developer of green energy. It has targeted 5.7 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2025 and another 10 gigawatts by 2035.
BloombergNEF expects Japan’s offshore wind capacity to exceed 9 gigawatts by 2030.
“Taiwan is a lively market with diversity of players, both local and global ones,” Bausenwein said. “We are well-positioned for any future auction with our commitment and what we have delivered.”
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the