CSBC-DEME Wind Engineering Co (CDWE, 台船環海) expects its NT$7.5 billion (US$253.44 million) crane vessel investment to pay off in 10 years, as it meets rising demand for large-scale offshore wind farms in Asia, CDWE chairman Robert Tseng (曾國正) said on Friday last week.
The company — a joint venture between CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台灣國際造船), which owns 50.0001 percent of the company, and Belgium-based Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering NV (DEME) — on June 30 commissioned CSBC to build the Green Jade, whose construction is the most expensive among the commercial vessels CSBC has built, said Tseng, who is also president of CSBC.
For example, CSBC built five 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent unit container vessels for Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), at an average building price of less than NT$3 billion, Tseng said.
Photo courtesy of CSBC Corp, Taiwan
“It is a huge investment, but we expect to recover the cost in 10 years after the Green Jade is launched in 2023,” he said.
From 2023 to 2025, the Green Jade would support the nation’s two offshore wind farms — the Hai Long (海龍) 2 and 3 projects, with a combined capacity of 1.044 gigawatts, and the Chong Neng (中能) project with a capacity of 300 megawatts, Tseng said.
CDWE would use the vessel to transport and install the wind turbine towers’ foundation system, he said.
The company last year signed preferred supplier agreements with Hai Long’s developers Northland Power Inc, Yushan Energy Pte (玉山能源) and Misty & Co Ltd, as well as Chong Neng’s developers China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S, he said.
The 216.5m vessel is to be equipped with a 4,000-tonne crane as well as a class-3 dynamite positioning system. The crane would be able to lift and accurately position heavy components, CSBC said.
The vessel has a cargo area of 8,200m2, or 1.3 times that of a standard football field, and could carry equipment such as a hydraulic hammer to drive huge piles into the seabed, the company said.
High efficiency in construction would be one of the Green Jade’s advantages, while it is also capable of installing mega structures at great depths, Tseng said.
That would give CDWE an advantage in seeking new clients, he said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs is formulating the zoning policy for offshore wind farms for 10 years from 2026 to 2035, and offshore wind farm developers are seeking to set up farms farther from the coast, so construction would be in deeper water, he said.
CDWE has been talking with a number of wind farm developers regarding their projects after 2026, he added.
Given that there are only six months that are suitable for marine construction in the Taiwan Strait, CDWE intends to cooperate with developers in foreign countries to use the Green Jade to work on other offshore wind farms for additional revenue, Tseng said.
“As DEME is an international enterprise with clients around the world, CDWE can deploy its network to find foreign clients,” Tseng said.
CSBC is still working on the detailed design of the Green Jade, but plans to begin construction by the end of this year, he said.
CDWE is to pay CSBC 30 percent, or NT$2.25 billion, as a down payment for the vessel, meaning that the firm, with NT$350 million in capital, would need to raise NT$1.8 billion within the next two months, he said.
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