Offshore wind farms are a prominent fixture both in government green-energy promotion initiatives and in public expectations of Taiwan’s low-carbon, sustainable future. Taiwan’s coastal waters hold exceptional potential for wind-power generation. However, the massive size of these turbines and their support structures require specialized delivery and installation workboats, dedicated berths for major components assembly work, and extensive yard and warehouse space for parts assembly and preparation work. The Port of Taichung is ready and able to effectively support the upcoming large-scale expansion of wind farms off Taiwan’s western seaboard.
The “Thousand Wind Turbines Project”, ratified by the Executive Yuan in February 2012, specified the construction of full-scale wind farms following the construction and testing of a sufficient number of trial wind turbines. The government’s expanded goals for renewable energy facilities announced on July 27th, 2015 calls specifically for the generation capacity of offshore wind farms to increase to 3GW by 2025. Moreover, to ensure the long-term viability of Taiwan’s green-energy sector, the government further announced that 20% of the nation’s total energy output should come from renewable sources by that same year. These developments ensure a prominent place for offshore wind farms in Taiwan’s future energy sector.
A large percentage of the offshore areas that are designated for potential wind farms by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) are located off Changhua County, just south of Taichung City. The large size of turbine structures and the significant space needed for assembly, coupled with the dangers and convenience requirements of offshore work, makes it imperative that related work be based at and supported primarily through nearby seaports. The Port of Taichung, an international commercial seaport, holds distinct advantages in terms of its close proximity to the proposed wind farm construction sites, its deep-water access, its ability to accommodate large commercial vessels, the availability of adequate yard and warehouse facilities, and the comprehensiveness of handling and operations facilities. After a comprehensive review, the Executive Yuan, MOEA, a Taiwan-Danish consortium, and other business organizations selected the Port of Taichung as the optimal port to support offshore-wind-farm construction work.
In related preparations, aside from performing the construction and upgrade work on heavy-cargo Wharves 5A, 5B, and 106 that will be necessary to effectively supply and support the wind-farm rollout, the Port of Taichung, TIPC, has designated 100ha of land and new road construction for a national industrial park for the wind-turbine components industry. This park, which will be completed at an estimated cost of NT$2.8 billion, has been incorporated into the list of Executive Yuan national infrastructure projects. Looking ahead, port authorities will continue meeting policy scheduling and other requirements and providing additional wharf and land space as needed in order to make the Port of Taichung a comprehensive center of support for Taiwan’s national wind-farm expansion program. Moreover, the Port of Taichung is seeking domestic and overseas businesses in the offshore wind turbine sector to set up operations at the port in hopes of creating a comprehensive components-supply cluster that will not only effectively support Taiwan’s offshore wind farm needs but also turn the Port of Taichung into a high-profile, competitive supplier to the green-energy sector worldwide.