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The Taiwanese Esbjerg

18.04.2017  09:08
If you ever thought that Taiwan and Denmark has nothing in common, you might be wrong. Taiwan and Denmark do have something in common – they have offshore in common. Denmark has inspired Taiwan to create its own offshore port modelled after the Danish cities Grenaa and Esbjerg. The collaboration between the two countries was facilitated by The Trade Council of Denmark and has created big opportunities for Danish companies for the next upcoming years.

Denmark is the only country that has a complete value chain for wind energy, coming from a large range of wind parks across the country, both on land and offshore. This leading position has been achieved through investments in wind power due to the oil crisis in 1970s, and from Denmark being home to world leading wind power companies. The thriving wind sector in Denmark also carries benefits for many specific Danish cities, and Esbjerg is one of them. Esbjerg is a city transformed from a fishery port into a hub for offshore wind which ships more than 80 % of the offshore wind components in Europe. Therefore Esbjerg has become a city that the entire world can look at for inspiration.

Taiwanese investments in wind power
 Denmark is far from the only country investing heavily in wind power. In Taiwan for example, the Government has a strategy to expand the amount of wind power in the country’s energy mix to 3 Gigawatts by 2025. In doing so, the Government is specifically looking at establishing an offshore wind port in the country. The Trade Council of Denmark sees this as a great opportunity for Danish companies, where Danish experiences and expertise can genuinely fast track the offshore wind development in Taiwan.

The Trade Council did approach the Taiwan Bureau of Energy learn more about the challenges they were facing. They concluded that one of the biggest struggles for the Taiwan Bureau of Energy was to make ministries and stakeholders realize that establishing and operating an offshore wind port wind power will be financially feasible and sustainable.

Upon learning this fact the Trade Council in Taipei reacted with two steps. Firstly, it arranged for the Bureau of Energy and Taichung harbor to visit Esbjerg, where they could learn more about how an offshore port functions. Secondly, it made a clear argument to the Taiwan’s government which then was convinces to co-finance a feasibility study that invited an experienced Danish consortium to lay out the business case for establishing an offshore port for Taiwan.

Introducing Danish competencies
The report was spearheaded by the public private partnership Offshoreenergy.dk, who recruited Grenaa Havn, DHI, Niras and DIS to form this port consortium to provide expert opinions to the many stakeholders.

The port consortium gave Danish companies the chance to show their competencies and knowledge.

“What the Trade Council did was quite beneficial for us. The fact that their approach was able to simultaneously make the key players in Taiwan understand the many challenges and opportunities of off-shore ports while bringing Danish solutions, such as ours, to the table was excellent,” says Arne Hansen, Chief Port Engineer at NIRAS.

“We are really happy with the work of the Trade Council in Taipei has done. That our experiences in Denmark can help inform Taiwain’s investments in Off-shore ports is a great example of both international collaboration and positioning Danish businesses in the right way,” Lars Mohr Christensen, Harbour Master at Grenaa Harbor.

With insights gained from the visit to Esbjerg, several subsequent visits, and workshops from the port consortium, the Taiwanese Government has proclaimed that Taichung harbor will become the ‘Taiwanese Esbjerg.’ Taichung Harbor is now operationalizing the feasibility study and are welcoming Danish companies into its 40-year master plan.

Offshore Wind Port Feasibility Study of Taichung Harbor, Taiwan

Want to know more about your opportunities in Taiwan? Reach out to our sector adviser, Marina Hsu / marhsu@um.dk.