The 298MW Zhong Neng offshore wind farm in Taiwan, is expected to start commercial operations in 2025. Credit: Tho-Ge/Pixabay
Financial closure for the Zhong Neng wind power project was achieved in December 2021. Image courtesy of Copenhagen Offshore Partners.
Vestas bagged the turbine supply contract for the Zhong Neng wind power project in March 2022. Image courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S.

The Zhong Neng offshore wind power project being developed in Taiwan, will have an electricity generation capacity of 298MW.

China Steel Power Corporation (CSPC), a joint venture between Taiwan-based China Steel Corporation (CSC) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), will build and operate the wind farm. CSC owns a 51% stake in CSPC, while the remaining 49% is held by CIP through its Copenhagen Infrastructure IV (CI IV) fund.

The total investment on the project is estimated to be between £1.32bn ($1.75bn) and £1.45bn ($1.92bn).

The Taiwanese government approved the local content plan for the project in November 2019. The final investment decision (FID) on the Zhong Neng wind power project was reached in December 2021.

Construction of the offshore wind farm is expected to commence in 2023, with the start commercial operations expected in 2025. The project is expected to generate up to 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, which will be sufficient to power approximately 300,000 Taiwanese households.

Location and site details

The Zhong Neng offshore wind power project will be located 10km to 17km offshore from the west coast of Changhua in central Taiwan.

The project will be spread over 36.54km2 of area, adjacent to CIP’s Changfang and Xidao offshore wind farm, and the water depth in the area ranges between 27m and 40m.

Zhong Neng offshore wind power project make-up

The Zhong Neng offshore wind farm development will feature 31 turbines supplied by Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas. The rated power of each turbine will be 9.5MW.h.

With 85m-long blades weighing around 35 tonnes (t) each, the turbine will have a rotor diameter of 174m and a swept area of 23,779m2. The nacelle will be 21m-long, 9m-wide and 9m-high, and weigh approximately 390t.

The other components of the project will include a submarine cable system and an onshore substation.

The submarine cable system will consist of 29 inner array grid cables and four 66kV landfall export cables, with a total length of approximately 196km.

Project financing

CSC and CIP entered an agreement with a consortium of 20 banks, in November 2021, to raise £1.2bn ($1.6bn) financing for the project.

The banks that agreed to provide loan for the project include the Bank of Taiwan, Mega International Commercial Bank, CTBC Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, First Commercial Bank and Land Bank of Taiwan.

Power purchase agreement

The Zhong Neng offshore wind power project developers signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) in February 2019.

Contractors involved

Vestas was contracted to supply 31 V174-9.5MW offshore wind turbines for the Zhong Neng project in March 2022. The contract also includes the provision of turbine services for a period of 15 years.

Vestas is expected to procure as many as 19 turbine components from Taiwan-based companies, under the local content plan for the project. The turbine blades will be manufactured in Tien Li Offshore Wind Technology’s facility in Taichung Harbour, Taiwan, while Walsin Lihwa and Boltun will supply cables and fasteners, respectively.

Seaway 7 was contracted by CSPC for the transportation and installation of submarine cables system for the project in December 2021. The £113.16m ($150m) contract, first announced in July 2020, also includes cable route surveys, post-lay trenching, termination, jointing and testing services.

Sing Da Marine Structure (SDMS), a subsidiary of CSC, will supply 31 jacket foundations for the project.

Ramboll was contracted in October 2020 to provide the design of the entire jacket structure including foundation, piles, and transition pieces.

CTCI Machinery (CTCI MAC), a subsidiary of CTCI, was selected to supply approximately 100 pin piles for the wind turbines in July 2020. The pin piles will be manufactured at CTCI MAC’s Ta-Lin Shop in Nansing Free Trade Zone in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

CSBC-DEME Wind Engineering (CDWE), a joint venture between CSBC and DEME Offshore in Taiwan, was contracted to transport and install the turbine foundations for the Zhong Neng wind power project in November 2019.

CDWE was also selected as the preferred bidder to transport and install the wind turbines for the project. The joint venture’s heavy lift and installation vessel Green Jade, with a 4,000t capacity crane and DP3 capability, will be mobilised to execute the contract.

Taiwan-based TECO was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the onshore substation of the Zhong Neng offshore wind power project.