Developer wpd has identified contractors for the 350-MW Guanyin offshore windfarm off the coast of Taoyuan in Taiwan, but the project appears to be facing an uncertain future.
Reports from Taiwan indicate that the establishment permit for the project has been revoked by the Bureau of Energy.
In revoking the permit, the bureau is said to have cited flight safety concerns brought forward by the civil aviation authority (CAA) in Taiwan.
wpd was approached to confirm the news about the permit. In response, a spokesperson said he could not confirm that the permit had been revoked, saying that only the Taiwanese government could do so. OWJ has also approached the bureau for confirmation.
Shortly before the permit was apparently revoked, the company said the contractors were “ready to start construction, as soon as the remaining permits are issued by the Taiwanese government.” Commissioning of the windfarm was anticipated in 2022.
A leading consultant in the offshore wind sector in Taiwan told OWJ that the CAA’s concern was longstanding and was first raised three years ago. It came sharply into focus again in recent weeks. wpd has reportedly been lobbying hard on the issue.
In a statement issued before the apparent decision about the permit, wpd said it had ensured a “very strong footprint for local industry”.
“We are prepared to invest €1.7Bn as soon as we receive final confirmation by the Taiwanese authorities,” said wpd AG chief operating officer, Achim Berge.
If Guanyin has been knocked back by the Taiwanese government, it could open the door for construction of another project.
The consultant told OWJ: "Once Guanyin is out, under the terms of Taiwan’s auction regulations, the next ranked but not yet allocated project gets the right to build, with completion no later than 2025." The ranking of projects has not been made public.
The project was set to use V164 turbines from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, with local production of towers at CS Wind Taiwan.
Two more Taiwanese companies, Formosa Heavy Industry and CTCI Machinery, were due to provide the monopile foundations.
wpd assigned installation of the foundations to Seaway Seven. Fred Olsen Windcarrier was selected to install the turbines.
The cables for the project were to be laid by CSBC Deme Wind Engineering (CDWE). GE Taiwan was due to build an onshore-substation for the project. An operations and maintenance contract was set to be awarded to Deutsche Windtechnik, using a crew transfer vessel built in Taiwan.