Tien Li Offshore Wind Technology Co (天力離岸風電科技) is to send 50 employees to train in Denmark to become the first Taiwanese skilled turbine blade makers, the company told a new conference yesterday.
The employees would be trained by Danish turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S for three months before returning to the firm’s Taichung turbine blade factory, which is slated to start operations in June, Tien Li said.
The first blades would be produced in July, and the company has given itself one year to reach the quality standards set by Vestas, Tien Li chairman K.D. Wu (吳坤達) said.
Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
“There will be a learning curve,” Wu said. “Hopefully by August next year, we will hit the world-class standards demanded by Vestas.”
Joe Chen (陳盈秀), one of the employees who is headed to Denmark, said it was a rare opportunity that allowed her to transform her career path.
“I was working in Singapore in the service sector, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chen, who studied management.
“I am excited that my company is giving me an opportunity to train for a highly technical position,” she said.
Chen and the other trainees would be making turbine blades out of composite materials for Vestas’ 9.5 megawatt V174 turbines, which have 85m blades.
“We will be providing world-class instruction in Denmark to develop Taiwan’s new offshore wind farm talent,” Vestas Taiwan project director Bjarne Jorgensen said.
“The talent will transfer European standards to Taiwan and the APEC region,” Jorgensen said.
Tien Li has received orders for 93 turbines, which have three blades each, from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partner K/S’ (CIP) Changfang (彰芳) and Xidao (西島) offshore wind farms, and expects orders for another 31 turbines from a Taiwan Power Co (台電) project, Wu said.
“We believe that once we ramp up production, we can cost-down very rapidly,” Wu said. “We expect to be competitive for export in the APEC region, Australia and India.”
Citing the high initial cost of setting up a turbine blade plant, Wu said he hopes to “scare off” future competition in the near term.
CIP Taiwan project office director Marina Hsu (許乃文) called for the government to maintain its local content requirements for Taiwan’s wind farm programs through the “third stage” of wind farm development.
“We hope the government will continue to support the localization scheme that made this new industry in Taiwan possible,” Hsu said.
The rules of the “third stage,” or “zonal development,” have been delayed, although the Ministry of Economic Affairs has promised to announce details this quarter.
“We ask that the government give us enough time between announcing the rules of third stage and the bidding period — at least a year,” Hsu said.
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