Offshore wind industry, as a crucial alternative of Taiwan’s energy supply, is heavily impacted by the global pandemic as many foreign technicians are impeded from or prevented to work on Taiwan’s wind farm project due to travel restriction and/or quarantine measures.
Jan De Nul Group, the EPCI contractor of TPC Phase I Demonstrative Project, said since the pandemic outbreak offshore wind industry has met the same challenges like all other industries, stressing that by complying with anti-COVID19 measures, they have suffered increased cost of construction and labours and are now facing delays in the completion of the wind farm.
As stated in the WindTaiwan Magazine the EPCI contractor believes it is necessary that the government sits down with stakeholders to have serious discussions about how the prevention measures has impacted wind farm construction and take practical measures to deal with stagnation of construction, rising cost and delayed grid connection.
Having fully cooperated with policies and regulations set by CECC and followed necessary administrative protocols and procedures are what contractors have done to make sure that the wind farm schedule is on track and in line with the government’s goal of generating 20 percent of its electricity through renewable energies by 2025.
However, due to the constantly changing regulations and requests, and the unforeseen granting schedule of arrival permits and visas, the contractors have already seen delay in construction from the travel restrictions and quarantines. For example, some foreign engineers are not allowed to board for work while waiting for the permit while their visa time runs down, and some are forced to stay onboard for months to fulfil the quarantine request. All these events lead to the construction works suspension, progress delay and increasing costs.
In order to catch up with the grid connection schedule for TPC 1, the contractor follows the new government regulation and formalities for the crew change. In doing so, they estimated the chance of TPC Phase 1 to go on line by the end of 2020 has become impossible, as turbine installation, commissioning and operation will not be completed until early 2021.