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German wind turbine maker opens Asia-Pacific operation hub in Taiwan

2017/10/28 17:40:44

Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) Enercon GmbH, the largest wind turbine supplier in Germany, has opened an Asia-Pacific operational hub in Taiwan, eyeing the booming renewable energy market in the country.

The regional hub began operations Friday, with the goal of investing about NT$8 billion (US$264 million) over the next 10 years to transform its Taiwan office into a marketing center.

The 10-year investment will also be assigned for personnel training to turn the local office into a research and development and maintenance center in the region for Enercon, the company said.

Prior to the establishment of the Taiwan hub, Enercon had accounted for more than 60 percent of land-based wind turbines built in Taiwan. Currently, the firm has installed 213 land-based wind turbines with a capacity of 463 megawatts.

Wang Chien-ping (王劍平), head of the Department of Investment Services under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), said during the inauguration ceremony of Enercon's hub in Taiwan that its presence is welcome.

Wang said Taiwan is expected to take advantage of Enercon's experience in wind energy development to advance the country's bid to set up a green energy production center.

According to Wang, Enercon's 10-year investment plan was made when the company signed a letter of intent with the MOEA in October.

Bart Linssen, managing director of Enercon Taiwan, said that since Taiwan has great potential for land-based wind turbines, his company has set its sights on the market.

In addition, Linssen said local governments in Taiwan have voiced their support for renewable energy development, a move that reinforced Enercon's determination to set up the hub in the country.

While Taiwan's government has set a goal of building 1.2 gigawatts in land-based wind turbines by 2025, Linssen said he is looking beyond that, adding that Taiwan's market is expected to accommodate 5GW to 10GW in production capacity.

According to Linssen, costs of building land-based wind turbines are lower than costs for offshore wind turbines, which is paving the way for higher returns.

Linssen said the company is likely to outsource Taiwanese suppliers to provide components, such as blades and motors, for its wind turbine production in the future. Currently, the German firm produces a majority of components for its wind turbines.

The government aims to boost renewable energy production, expecting that green energy will account for 20 percent of the total electricity production by 2025, up from 5.1 percent in 2016.

This goal has attracted many foreign renewable energy developers to Taiwan.

(By Huang Ya-chuan and Frances Huang)