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Energy firm eyes Yunlin wind farms by end-2021

2019/07/02 19:02:55

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Wpd Taiwan Energy Co., a subsidiary of Germany-based Wpd AG, said Tuesday that its Yunlin offshore wind project is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of 2021.

Wpd Taiwan, one of the companies to receive a permit from the government earlier this year to develop offshore wind power, said the Yunlin project will build a total of 80 wind turbines, 44 of which are scheduled to become operational by the end of 2020, and the full commissioning of all 80 is scheduled by the end of 2021.

Construction of the wind farms, which will be located about 8 kilometers off the coast of Yunlin County in southern Taiwan, will start in March 2020, Wpd Taiwan said.

According to the company, the capacity of the Yunlin project, which will require NT$94 billion (US$3.03 billion) in total investment, will hit 640 megawatts by the end of 2021.

Wpd Taiwan said it has secured NT$74.1 billion in bank loans from a 19-bank financing group, including four Taiwanese banks -- Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E Sun Commercial Bank and Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank -- which have extended about NT$17 billion to the project.

The 15 foreign banks in the financing group are BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, KfW-IPEX Bank, Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, Natixis, OCBC, Siemens Bank, Société Générale, Standard Chartered Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC), Wpd Taiwan said.

Wpd Taiwan said the loan secured by the company is the largest offshore wind project financing project in the Asia-Pacific region.

For the loan project, SMBC serves as a financial advisor, while E. Sun Bank acts as a local financial advisor.

Addressing a news conference held by Wpd Taiwan, Chen Yiling (陳怡鈴), secretary-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), said the Yunlin project demonstrates that the country will become a pioneer in offshore wind development in the region.

Chen said the project securing such a large loan indicates the full support from the banking industry at home and abroad, since these banks have expressed confidence in Taiwan's efforts to develop offshore wind energy.

The Yunlin project is 73 percent owned by Wpd Taiwan, with a consortium led by Japan-based conglomerate Sojitz Corp. taking the remaining 27 percent. The Sojitz-led consortium also includes Chugoku Electric Power Co., Chudenko Corp. Shikoku Electric Power Co. and JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy Corp.

Wpd Taiwan said the firm perceives Taiwan as having a critical role in the group's global growth strategy after the German company entered the local market more than 10 years ago.

Wpd CEO Gernot Blanke said the political will and administrative efficiency of the Taiwan government have been internationally recognized and that his company will continue to invest in Taiwan.

(By Tsai Peng-min and Frances Huang)