COWI opens branch office in Taipei
To accommodate ongoing and recently won offshore wind projects, COWI has opened a branch office in Taipei, adding to its Asian presence with offices in Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore. Likewise, the company’s offices in Boston and Hamburg are being staffed up to meet the growing demand for Danish wind expertise. COWI aims to double its wind business in the coming three years.
Governments around the world are looking to exchange carbon-based fuels into renewa-bles and to reduce the need for energy imports. Wind being the cheapest energy source in many markets, the annual global investment in offshore wind capacity alone is expected to grow from 17GW in 2019 to an impressive 130GW by 2030. The development goes hand in hand with a global green agenda and the mission to reduce air pollution and emissions.
A large part of the investments in the coming years is concentrated in the U.S., Asia and the North Sea. As a global full-service provider within wind energy, COWI sees a great growth opportunity in the transition.
“The appetite for wind energy and more specifically offshore wind farms has been increas-ing exponentially especially in East and South East Asia. Taiwan alone is investing massively in offshore wind farm projects and so far, our expertise has been welcomed to five of them. From our new hub in Taipei, we expect to grow COWI’s wind business in the region, starting with Japan and Korea where great initiatives have already started,” Jan Rønberg, COWI's Senior Market Director for Offshore Wind, says.
Jan Rønberg has worked with offshore wind since 2008 and underlines the importance of strong competencies, flexibility and trust in an industry where both the investments and the risks are significant.
COWI has a global organisation in place and is used to working internationally with contractors. With more than two decades in the renewable energy business and having completed numerous large-scale wind farm projects, the company set foot on the Asian wind energy market in 2016.
“We entered Taiwan with the detailed design for Formosa I phase 1 that became opera-tional in April 2017. The wind farm lies 6 km off the coast in the Strait of Taiwan in a ge-otechnically challenging and seismically active region which put high demands on the de-sign and the structural integrity of the foundations. When you work in an area prone to earthquakes, typhoons and soil liquefaction you need specialized knowledge to produce innovative and cost-effective solutions to your customers”, Jan explains.
COWI's engineers have built extensive expertise within working in high-risk areas involving extreme natural forces. This experience comes largely from the company’s major bridge projects in Asia and other parts of the world.
“After finalizing Formosa I phase 1, we have been chosen to do the detailed design for four additional offshore projects in Taiwan. One of these is an offshore wind farm with jacket foundations in 28 metres water depth in the Changhua region. I am confident that we are geared to serve the region and to do our part for the green development that is happening there right now,” Jan adds.