Supporting the Growth of Offshore Wind Farms in Asia and Beyond

OPINION EDITORIAL

10/21/2023

According to a report by Wood McKenzie, an estimated $1 trillion would flow into the offshore wind industry over the next decade, increasing the global capacity of large-scale wind farms by nearly 10-fold from 34 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 to 330 GW in 2030. As more countries turn to renewable technologies to meet their climate goals, offshore wind is an attractive option for large-scale, carbon-free energy generation in land-constrained territories.

Out of the 260 offshore wind farms operating worldwide as of January 2023, over half of them are in Asia. As a rapidly expanding market for the offshore wind industry, Asia is set to lead the global growth of power generation from offshore wind farms over the next decade and beyond. With the second most offshore wind farms in Asia, Vietnam aims to produce a minimum of 3-5 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and has an offshore wind potential of up to 500 GW, thanks to its vast coastline and strong winds. Also taking advantage of their extensive Pacific coastlines to maximise their offshore wind potential, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are aiming to generate almost 35 GW of offshore wind power in total by 2030.

Although countries like Australia, the Philippines and India have yet to set up an operational offshore wind farm, they hold immense offshore wind potential with several significant offshore wind farm projects underway. In Australia, the country's first proposed offshore wind project, the Star of the South off Gippsland, could start generating 2.2 GW of power in 2025. The Spanish wind power developer BlueFloat Energy’s four offshore wind projects in the Philippines are expected to have a combined capacity of 7.6 GW, making it one of the largest in the world. India, on the other hand, has set an ambitious target of installing 30 GW of offshore capacity by 2030.

Key Challenges for Offshore Wind Farms in Asia

While there are exciting growth opportunities for the offshore wind industry in Asia, several key challenges such as the need for a high initial investment outlay and the existing knowledge gap may limit its potential.

💸 High Capital Expenditure: From site preparation and turbine installation to infrastructure development and logistics fulfilment, the upfront capital required to develop offshore wind farms can be substantial. This makes financing for these projects challenging, especially in emerging markets like Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Lacking Key Infrastructure: To support the upcoming large-scale offshore wind development, dedicated ports are essential to serve as a base for operations and maintenance (O&M) work, such as assembling components of turbines, servicing the windmills and warehousing solutions. Setting up such ports requires a deep expertise and strong knowledge in offshore wind operations to be able to effectively plan the use of a sizeable industrial land along with deep-water seaport to sustain offshore wind activities.

👷🏻 Local Content Limitation: Being relatively new to offshore wind development, the lack of experienced personnel and local supply chain capacity in Asia can hinder project execution. Therefore, to support its rapid growth, Asia has a strong focus on developing local content in the offshore wind market to stimulate local industries, create jobs and boost the competitiveness of domestic industries. Vessels operating in the Asian region are often required to use the local flag, and to qualify for the flag, they need a minimum number of local crew on board. Nevertheless, it requires a strong collaboration with an established and reliable partner to facilitate such skills and knowledge transfer and boost local growth in expertise.

🚢 Equipped with years of experience in operating offshore vessels in countries with strong local content, the highly experienced team in Cyan Renewables can effectively facilitate collaboration with local partners to support their supply chain capacity and reduce their operating risks. This is shown through the exclusive marketing agreement with Seagreen Marine Co., Ltd., which provides additional vessels to help expand the operation of Taiwan-flagged vessels in the country’s offshore wind industry. As a trusted CAPEX partner of choice, Cyan Renewables enables operators like Seagreen Marine to lease instead of owning vessels, thereby lowering their upfront capex costs.

🤝 Beyond offering a fleet of wind farm support vessels, Cyan Renewables also endeavours to strengthen local industry knowledge and build up the local talent pool to achieve long-term growth in the offshore wind industry. This is why Cyan Renewables is working closely with Sheffield Green (Asia) Pte. Ltd. to set up specialised maritime training centres in Taiwan with programmes tailored to develop a workforce that is skilled in offshore wind operations. In deepening local expertise, it can help to promote local employment and career progression in the offshore wind sector.

🌊 In addition, Cyan Renewables’ partnership with Blue Water Shipping, a pioneer in port management, to set up offshore wind marshalling ports in Asia can not only improve the overall efficiency of offshore wind farm operations and maintenance, but also create more local job opportunities for technicians, engineers, and support staff.

Filling the Gaps for Offshore Wind Farms in Asia and Beyond

As Asia's first pure-play offshore wind vessel owner for the offshore wind industry, Cyan Renewables is established with a strong expertise in operating offshore wind vessels. Motivated to accelerate the growth of the offshore wind industry, Cyan Renewables’ dedicated fleet of specialised vessels will be able to support a wide range of offshore wind farm operations such as cable laying, installation, and servicing.

Having acquired Groenewind, our first Service Operation Vessel (SOV) from DEME Offshore NL, back in July to support Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) in maintaining three offshore wind farms in Belgium for the next 15 years, it highlights Cyan Renewables’ commitment to serve not just the offshore wind farms in Asia, but globally as well. As we work towards becoming the partner of choice to both wind farm developers and vessel operators worldwide, we are open to more opportunities like this to collaborate with global offshore wind partners and build a tight supply chain network that can also facilitate the knowledge transfer to new markets.

Harnessing the years of global maritime experience from its veteran team, Cyan Renewables is poised to facilitate the accelerating growth of offshore wind partners in Asia and beyond. In doing so, our contribution to the sustainable and renewable offshore wind industry brings us a step closer to fulfilling our vision of becoming the catalyst for a greener tomorrow.

Enquiries: corporatecomms@cyanrenewables.com

(Source: Cyan Renewables | LinkedIn Post | All News)