Ørsted’s installation of its 900 MW Greater Changhua 1 & 2a Offshore Wind Farms is a high-profile wind energy project in Taiwan and abroad. However, the construction progress of these two farms has been hit by the ongoing pandemic. Accordingly, the wind energy company is considering applying for an extension up to several months from the competent authority.
After kicking off the said installation in early 2021, Ørsted has been busy with submarine cable construction and installation of offshore substations and wind turbine foundations. The company plans to install wind turbines next year and expects to accomplish the entire project in 2022.
Christy Wang, General Manager in Taiwan of Ørsted Asia Pacific, specified that all the foundations must be installed by this year according to the current schedule. If the construction is delayed, the company must report to the competent authority. “Pandemic is not the only problem,” added Wang. “Sea state, weather, and techniques are also challenges. This is the first offshore construction our team has engaged in. Building two offshore substations and foundations are a big project, where piling process and noise levels must also comply with the EIA standards.”
Being careful and prioritizing safety in the beginning might be better. Wang continued to say that if the construction is behind schedule, they will apply for an extension, yet they are still evaluating and discussing the current situation. Despite its determination to finish the project within the scheduled time, the company cannot report a delay (if any) to the government until the last minute. Wang emphasized that they have not much time left and must make an all-out effort to build the wind farms next year. She hopes that the CECC can continue with the Epidemic-Prevention Entry Program of Foreign Vessel Crew Members for Offshore Wind Projects under Strict Border Control (General Version 2.0), making crew member deployment easier and facilitating construction implementation.
The program allows vessel crew members to save weeks of time for entry application, despite the home quarantine requirement after entering Taiwan. Wang revealed that the wind farm construction is highly dependent on European personnel because there are few professionals in Taiwan. Moreover, an independent team is required for the installation of any foundations or cables. In addition to construction vessels, other vessels are needed as well, such as lift-on/lift-off, transport, guard, and acoustic detection vessels. As many as three to four vessels are likely to work together simultaneously. Therefore, numerous crew members are required, including local or foreign seafarers. Prioritizing epidemic prevention, Ørsted will work hard to meet the deadline while ensuring flexible personnel deployment.
(Source of first image: Ørsted)