APAC: Marubeni makes foray into Taiwan offshore wind 

29 March 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Marubeni has extended its footprint into offshore wind in Taiwan with an investment in a 600MW project alongside local partners. 

The Tokyo-based trading house has agreed to partner with developer Taiwan Green Power (TGP) as well as two other domestic firms to build the No.28 Offshore Wind Farm (Hai Hsia) off the coast of Taiwan’s northwestern Changhua county, a TGP spokesperson told Inframation.

Marubeni will take 30% of the equity in the project, while TGP will control 50%. Taiwan Cogeneration Corp (TCC) and Tien Li Offshore Wind Technology are in talks to split ownership of the remaining 20%. 

The move marks the first tie-up between Taiwanese and Japanese firms in the development of offshore wind farms on the island. 

The project will require a total investment of about NTD 86.5bn (USD 2.87bn), the TGP spokesperson said, adding that the developer has contacted local and overseas banks to line up a syndicated project loan. 

A group of Taiwanese and Japanese banks are expected to provide project financing to the wind farm, a Marubeni spokesperson told the news service.

The 600MW offshore wind project will be located 14km-35km off the coast of Changhua, facing the wind-rich Taiwan Strait. It has received environmental approval and will take part in the Bureau of Energy’s official project selection in April to qualify for the government’s feed-in-tariff scheme. 

If selected, the electricity it produces will be sold to state-owned utility Taipower under a 20-year power purchase agreement. 

Future partnership 
TGP and Marubeni are also likely to draw on experience gleaned from the Taiwan project to develop offshore wind farms in Japan going forward, the TGP spokesperson said, adding that the pair are also potentially interested collaborating in South Korean and Southeast Asian countries.

“But for the time being, we want to focus on the Taiwan project,” he said. 

Marubeni has been an active investor in renewables worldwide. It controls a 25% stake in the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm as well as a 50% stake in Orsted’s 172MW Gunfleet Sands offshore wind project in the UK. 

TCC is a major developer of electricity in Taiwan with a total installed capacity of about 2.44GW, making up nearly 5% of Taiwan’s entire power system, while Tien Li is a local manufacturer of blades for wind turbines. 

Meanwhile, Japanese trading house Itochu Corporation is also looking for opportunities to invest in Taiwan’s nascent offshore wind sector. The Osaka-based conglomerate has said interested in acquiring equity stakes in Taiwan’s offshore wind farms after the government’s official project selection and some other early stage preparations are completed later this year.