Siemens Gamesa opens Taiwanese office

TAIWAN: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has opened a new office in Taipei and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Taiwan International Ports to help launch the country's offshore sector.

Two Siemens 4MW turbines were used at the 8MW Formosa phase one demonstration project

The non-binding MoU begins an investigation into the development of areas of the Taichung harbour in the west of the country.

It covers investigations into a potential manufacturing site for components to be used in offshore wind farms, office facilities and storage, pre-assembly and quayside load-out areas.

A timeline for the finalisation of the cooperation agreement has not been set, SGRE stated.

Andreas Nauen, who took over as CEO of the company’s offshore division from 1 November, said the MoU signing demonstrated SGRE’s "strong desire to contribute to the development of offshore wind in Taiwan".

The manufacturer has also opened an office in Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei, aimed at "increasing offshore wind customer responsiveness" in Asia-Pacific, excluding mainland China.

The office will act as a regional hub for offshore wind, the company stated. Siemens Gamesa also has regional offices in Japan and South Korea.

Nauen explained that Taiwan's Bureau of Energy’s plans for at least 5.5GW of offshore wind in Taiwan and the publication of more detailed grid plans prompted the company to expand its footprint in the region.

He added development of Japan's first utility-scale offshore projects and South Korea commissioning its first commercial offshore site also encouraged the manufacturer’s latest activities in Asia-Pacific.

"We look forward to helping ensure that the right infrastructure is in place, as well as maintaining efforts towards further cost reductions," he said.

Two 4MW Siemens turbines were used at Taiwan’s only operational offshore wind farm in 2016, the 8MW Formosa phase one demonstration project.

Siemens was also named as the preferred supplier for the 120MW second phase of the Formosa project in 2015.

Western influence

SGRE are one of a number of western companies taking an interest in the Taiwanese offshore sector recently.

In November 2016, Ørsted (formerlly Dong Energy) opened an office in Taiwan. In May 2017, Canadian electricity producer Northland Power entered in to a joint venture to develop a 1.2GW off the Taiwanese coast.

Danish investment fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) acquired 1.5GW of potential projects in the Taiwan Strait, also in May.

Elsewhere, in September, monopiles specialist Sif Group has signed a letter of intent with Taiwanese firm Century Wind Power to examine opportunities to supply foundations to the country's burgeoning offshore wind market. 

Also, in late November, Danish fabricator Bladt Industries signed MoUs with two Taiwanese firms, including Century Wind Power, to share competencies and experiences to improve the nation's offshore wind supply chain. 

Finally, the renewables arm of international marines and engineer consultancy LOC Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with four other companies to further develop offshore wind farms in Taiwan.