TIPC “See the Future” Forum in Kaohsiung Gathers Together Expertise in Digital Tech, ESG, and Green Energy Solutions
The Future Harbor Forum “See the Future” held today (November 28th) by TIPC drew a large number of domestic and international digital technology and green wind power developers and vendors as well as VIP attendees such as Minister without Portfolio of Executive Yuan Tzi-chin Chang, Minister of Transportation and Communications Kwo-tsai Wang, and Finland Trade Center in Taiwan Deputy Director Jere Tala. All told, including representatives from port industry associations and businesses, the forum attracted over 500 registered attendees.
In his address to the forum, Minister without Portfolio Chang shared that, to achieve national strategic green port and smart port goals, nearly NT$50 billion is scheduled to be invested in Taiwan’s seven international commercial ports under the Five Year (2022-2026) Development and Infrastructure Enhancement Plan for International Commercial Ports approved by the Executive Yuan in October 2021. Of this, over NT$20 billion was earmarked for Port of Kaohsiung’s new Container Terminal 7, which commenced commercial operations in August 2023. In addition, Taiwan has already completed the installation of 270 offshore wind turbines and, for the first time ever, the power generated by renewables (i.e., wind and solar energy) has outstripped that generated by the nation’s nuclear power plants. Furthermore, the current renewable power installed capacity is seven times more than seven years ago. Further increasing Taiwan’s ability to deliver and install offshore wind turbines will require the active participation and partnership of the nation’s major ports in terms of turbine components storage and assembly, work ship handling, and other critical support services.
MOTC Minister Wang shared that one of the topics addressed at this year’s APEC Ministerial Meeting was the potential development of a green shipping corridor between Kaohsiung and North America. Moving related plans forward will require ports at both ends installing low-carbon facilities and implementing low-carbon measures, ships plying related routes using clean energy resources, and, eventually, the use of 5G AIOT-based measures to help manage related sea, land, and air traffic. Currently, all of Taiwan’s international commercial ports hold European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) EcoPort certification. Taiwan’s future development and installation of floating wind turbines (FWTs), will rely heavily on the support and capabilities of ports. Thus, in addition to Port of Taichung, facilities and land at Port of Kaohsiung, Taipei, Anping, and Budai are being made available to the offshore wind power industry for the wind turbine assembly (turbines, nacelles, towers), localization of turbine parts and components production, and provision of dedicated wharf and yard space.
TIPC Chairman Lee revealed the Future Harbor Forum as the first large-scale international conference held by TIPC in southern Taiwan after the pandemic. He remarked that, in line with its Trans-SMART⁺ 2.0 Plan, TIPC has been actively integrating artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, and ICT applications into its operations to achieve groundbreaking improvements in efficiency and services. Between 2022 and 2026, TIPC has budgeted over NT$1.5 billion for smart-port-related projects designed to meet the needs and expectations of port customers, raise port safety and operational efficiencies, and boost Taiwan’s overall competitiveness in international shipping. In addition, TIPC has in recent years budgeted NT$40 million in annual incentives for innovation that, over the three years of the program, has attracted more than thirty proposals.
In reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are an important factor in climate change and environmental degradation, Chairman Lee pointed to the importance of developing clean and renewable sources of energy as well as the importance of ports in this equation. In line with national renewable energy development policies, TIPC is continuing to support the development of the nation’s offshore wind farm infrastructure in four key aspects, including the provision of wind turbine assembly staging areas, industry parks for the localization of wind turbine parts / components production, wharf and other infrastructures necessary to handle and transport wind turbines, and related staff and specialist training. Moreover, related soft (e.g., instruction & training, heavy transport services, wind farm staffing, sea freight) and hard (e.g., land, wharves, shipping & support facilities) infrastructures are being developed at Port of Taichung, Port of Kaohsiung, Taipei, Budai, and Anping to achieve a robust and comprehensive wind power industry supply chain. Furthermore, to achieve Taiwan’s energy transformation goals will necessarily involve new challenges in terms of bringing other solutions, including floating wind turbines (FWTs) and hydrogen. At this year’s forum, international firms involved in the offshore wind sector were invited to discuss and share on global FWT trends and port-related support needs. Also, representatives from firms involved in new energy supply chains were invited to share their perspectives on the related opportunities and challenges facing the shipping industry and ports as well as trends in new energy applications and industry developments.
TIPC’s Future Harbor Forum “See the Future” provided an opportunity for attendees of cross industry to engage in deep discussions and sharing on the opportunities and challenges raised by smart port, e-governance, and new energy development trends. The exhibition held concurrently with the forum included 26 booths manned by businesses involved in the smart port and green energy sectors. The exhibition featured advanced smart-port technology applications and presentations on new energy and offshore wind farm projects. The Future Harbor Forum was valuable in bringing experts from the smart port, energy, and sustainable development sectors together to brainstorm, make common cause, and keep Taiwan’s ports on the path to stable growth going forward.
TIPC Shu-hui Tsai