Friday, July 3, 2020

Construction Starts for Asia's Largest Offshore Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

June 19, 2020

Image Credit: MHI Vestas

Taiwanese company Tien Li Offshore Wind Technology has started construction on 210,000 square meter facility in Taichung Harbour to supply offshore wind blades to Taiwan's growing offshore wind industry.

Tien Li is one of key local supply chain partners of wind turbine builder MHI Vestas, which this week shared the news on the start of construction of Tian Li's black manufacturing facility.

Both production and storage facilities are being developed for the mass manufacture of blades to be installed at offshore projects in Taiwan and eventually, throughout Asia-Pacific, MHI Vestas said.

Construction will be carried out in two phases, with the mass production of blades to start in 2021. The facility will create over 500 jobs and will be Asia’s largest offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing center.

Along with the investment at the production and storage area, Taichung Harbour infrastructure is being upgraded to handle turning radius requirements for the transportation of completed blades. This will also enable Taichung Harbour to potentially handle larger cargoes and can allow Tien Li to expand further as larger blade designs are developed.

A sight to behold

“Tien Li’s facility in Taichung Harbour will be a sight to behold once completed, as it will be producing some of the largest blades in the world for installation offshore in Asia,” said Robert Borin, Chief Supply Chain Officer at MHI Vestas. “The ground-breaking on this facility is a key milestone, and we look forward to working with Tien Li throughout this process as they ramp up to be a key supply chain partner to MHI Vestas in Asia-Pacific.”

“We are leading Asia-Pacific in the manufacture of blades and we are excited about the scale of our future marketplace at home and further afield,” said Jay Hsu, General Manager of Tien Li. “Taking the time to perfect our processes and achieve great efficiencies on current platforms today means that we will be ready to lead the world on new platforms in the late 2020s.”

When Tien Li completes the construction of its production footprint, MHI Vestas will be supporting the training of Tien Li employees in the manufacture of blades. Learnings from this training will enable Tien Li to sustainably produce MHI Vestas’ V174 platform for Taiwan and throughout Asia-Pacific, the wind turbine maker said.

Taiwan: Regional blade export base

Jay Hsu of Tien Li expanded further: “Tien Li has invested TWD 3 billion to set up the first offshore wind blade manufacturing facility in the Asia-Pacific region, with the intention of developing Taiwan as the regional blade export base. We require a significant volume of orders to achieve a return on our investment. Consistency and continuity of Taiwan’s localization policy throughout 2026 toward blade manufacture is required, and will provide the industry with more confidence and ultimately, greater sustainable benefit to Taiwan’s economy.”

MHI Vestas has in recent months been delivering on its supply chain localization commitments in Taiwan, supporting the developing offshore wind supply chain through investment, training and jobs. Key components will be sourced from within the country beyond the blades.

Contracts have been signed in Taiwan for local supply of blade materials (bonding glue, resin, pultruded carbon plates), cables, tower production and castings, with more local supply chain contracts planned for 2020.

MHI Vestas in February signed firm contracts with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to deliver 62 MHI Vestas V174-9.5MW turbines for the 589-MW Changfang and Xidao offshore wind complex in Taiwanese waters.

Elsewhere in Asia, MHI Vestas will supply offshore wind turbines for the Akita Noshiro Offshore Wind Farm Project in Japan.  

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