U.K. announces NT$9.2 billion support for wind farm in Taiwan

Taipei-U.K. Export Finance (UKEF), the official export credit agency of the United Kingdom, will provide NT$9.2 billion (US$296.9 million) in support of U.K. businesses supplying a large-scale wind farm off the coast of Taiwan, the British Office Taipei announced Tuesday.

"UKEF provides its support in Taiwan dollars, one of over 60 currencies in which UKEF can offer financing. This protects the buyer from market fluctuations and makes sourcing from the U.K. more attractive," the office said.

The Formosa 2 wind farm project, aimed at reducing Taiwan's reliance on fossil fuel energy, is led by Macquarie's Green Investment Group, the lead project sponsor, and Swancor Renewable Energy. It involves the construction of 47 turbines generating 376 megawatts of green energy, forming part of the government's target of generating 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025.

As a result of UKEF's support, U.K. companies will be involved in the construction of the wind farm, helping to unlock the export potential of this growing sector of the U.K. economy, the office said.

"UKEF is committed to maximizing opportunities for our world- class companies in this sector," UKEF CEO Louis Taylor was quoted as saying.

"By supporting this project, UKEF is making these opportunities a reality in new markets, while helping Taiwan reduce its reliance on fossil fuels," Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Catherine Nettleton, British representative to Taiwan, said the deal demonstrates the scale of the opportunity in Taiwan's renewable sector and shows that the U.K. is a close partner in Taiwan's development of its offshore wind industry.

"Eighteen British companies who work on offshore wind have set up offices in Taiwan. As a world leader in offshore wind capacity, the U.K. has learned that investment in renewables leads to new jobs, lower energy costs and lower carbon emissions, a win-win-win for a clean growth economy," Nettleton said.

The U.K. is one of the world's largest generators of offshore wind energy, the British Office Taipei said, adding that it is home to the largest offshore wind farm in the world, the Walney Extension off the Cumbrian coast, and is responsible for over 44 percent of Europe's offshore wind energy.

According to the office, Taiwan is currently developing 5.5GW of offshore wind energy up to 2025 and plans a further 5GW up to 2030.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel