Government officials yesterday inaugurated a center for developing oceanic resources in Kaohsiung, which Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said would create an industrial cluster for the development of marine technology.
The 6.7 hectare Marine Technology Industrial Innovation Zone (海洋科技產業創新專區) in Singda Harbor (興達港) is ready to start training people in the maintenance and repair of offshore wind farms, Chen said at the opening ceremony.
The zone would also conduct research and development of other marine resources, he said.
Photo: Su Fu-nan, Taipei Times
“By cultivating talent for the offshore wind power industry, the innovation zone would support the development of our renewable energy industry,” Chen said. “Taiwan is ahead of other Asian countries in offshore wind power development. I believe Taiwan is the best home base for European renewable energy players to develop Southeast Asian markets.”
The zone, planned and constructed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, would be managed by the Metal Industries Research and Development Center (MIRDC, 金屬工業研究發展中心).
The ministry has partnered with Maersk Training and the Global Wind Organization to offer certificate programs from basic safety training to turbine blade repair with the goal of creating “green-collar jobs,” while servicing the ever-increasing number of offshore wind farms slated for construction in the waters near Taiwan, it said in a statement.
The first group of trainees started their program yesterday, and an estimated 1,800 people be trained at the center annually, the release said.
“We have seen from other countries’ experiences that it is expensive to train skilled workers for the offshore wind farm industry,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “Having a training center right here in Taiwan is a great way to cut costs and create local jobs.”
Three new offshore wind farms are slated to finish construction this year — in Miaoli, Changhua and Yunlin counties, she said.
The zone would also house a number of laboratories to develop marine technology, including a deep water pool for simulating offshore conditions to be completed in 2023, the MIRDC said in a statement.
“The zone houses special laboratories to study underwater corrosion, underwater structure testing and oceanic product development,” the MIRDC said.
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