First Assembly Facility of Wind Turbine Nacelles in Asia Pacific Inaugurated in Taichung, Set to Produce 111 “Hearts of Wind Turbines”

published: 2021-09-23 16:41 | editor: | category: News

Localization of the offshore wind industry has made progress in Taiwan, as the first offshore wind nacelle assembly facility in the Asia-Pacific was inaugurated in Taichung on September 14. The facility has already produced the first offshore wind nacelle in August. Niels Steenberg, chairman of Siemens Gamesa, announced that construction of the facility in Taichung was completed on schedule, making it the first nacelle assembly plant that the company built in Taiwan—also the first outside Europe. The on-time construction signifies the company has again delivered on its promises of wind power localization in Taiwan.

With an area of roughly 30,000 m2, the Taichung-based facility built by Siemens Gamesa encompasses areas for nacelle assembly, testing, warehousing as well as offices and outdoor warehouses. The primary task of the facility is to assemble the nacelle of Siemens Gamesa’s SG 8.0-167 D turbine, which will be installed at Ørsted's 900 MW Greater Changhua 1 & 2a Offshore Wind Farms. The turbine will also be applied to other wind farm projects in Taiwan and across the Asia-Pacific.

Nacelle, also known as the heart of wind turbines, is arguably the most important component of offshore wind energy; each nacelle can weigh up to 400 tons.

Siemens Gamesa announced its plan to establish a nacelle assembly facility in 2019, started building the facility in April 2020, and accomplished the construction 392 days later. The facility was put into production in August 2021 and produced the first locally assembled wind turbine nacelle, which has now entered into full operation. The facility comprises two production lines, enabling simultaneous assembly work of two nacelles that can be assembled within 10 business days. The assembled nacelles will be stored in the facility, waiting for delivery notifications from clients.  

Inside the nacelle assembly facility in Taichung. The yellow rotating mechanism can be used to adjust nacelles and electric generators for precise alignment and safe installation afterwards.

  A wheel hub connecting the nacelle and rotor blades.

An assembled nacelle ready for testing and painting

The assembly facility in Taichung has created 80 direct jobs, which will continue expanding. Prioritizing safe work execution, the training program of nacelle technicians comprise a 2-week internal training session and another 3 to 5 days of training at the Metal Industries Research and Development Centre, during which 7 to 10 Danish technicians will give step-by-step instructions to trainees.

Christy Wang, general manager in Taiwan of Ørsted Asia Pacific, said that Ørsted added various localization promises to its 2019 supply chain plan. Among them, the power company promised to establish a nacelle assembly factory with Siemens Gamesa. Since 2018, the two have worked from contract signing and negotiation to the final investment decision, and officially kicked off construction last year.

Wang added that building a world-class wind farm relies on not only technologies from Europe but the establishment of an industrial ecosystem made up of local talents, manufacturers and suppliers. Because the first-phase project of Ørsted’s 900 MW Greater Changhua 1 & 2a Offshore Wind Farms is extremely large, localization of production, assembly and investments is conducive to future development as well as long-term sustainability.

The said first-phase construction has begun in 2021. Currently, structural works for two onshore substations have been accomplished. Subsequently, submarine cables, offshore substations, and foundations will be established, with wind turbines being installed next year. The entire project is scheduled to be finished in 2022. Wang emphasized that they are paying close attention to the construction progress to ensure project accomplishment by the end of 2022.  

As the contract specifies, Siemens Gamesa shall provide 111 wind turbine towers that are 100% made in Taiwan for Ørsted’s Greater Changhua Wind Farms. By cooperating with CS Wind Group, a South Korean supplier of Siemens Gamesa, the Changhua-based company Chin Fong Machine Industrial is responsible for manufacturing the said towers in its plant at the Port of Taichung. So far, Chin Fong has delivered 160+ wind turbine tower sections and transported them to the port’s wharfs. Ørsted will initiate wind turbine installation in the first quarter next year, thereby ensuring that the entire project can be completed by late 2022.

(Source of images: TechNews)

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