With the recent announcement of COP as the lead development partner for the 500MW Feng Miao offshore wind project Wood Thilsted (WT), as COP’s preferred engineering partner in Taiwan, once again, is at the forefront of the development of Taiwan’s offshore wind industry.

As part of Taiwan’s Round 3, phase 1 wind auction, Feng Miao will bring significant capacity to Taiwan’s region-leading offshore wind industry with construction expected to start in 2025 and first commercial operations from 2027.

We caught up with our Chief Consultant and Head of Taiwan, Simon Faulkner, to find out more about the project and WT’s relationship to COP.

Simon, what is COP’s relationship with the offshore wind industry in Taiwan?

COP is a key developer in Taiwan and is highly regarded on the island. The government sees them as a trusted partner for the future who have invested heavily in the local supply chain and hold a strong, proven track record with clear successes in the way they manage their projects.

What is WT’s relationship with COP in Taiwan?

We have a long-standing relationship with COP In Taiwan and have worked closely with them on the foundation design for their first two projects in Taiwan, ChangFang Xidao and Zhong Neng. Our work has been key in building the trust the government has in COP due to the transparency and partnership nature of how we manage our projects and importantly our detailed understanding of the specific geophysical and geotechnical challenges of the area. This in turn has meant we have produced exceptionally cost effective and reliable designs. It’s a similar approach we like to use with many of our partners across the globe.

What is WT’s role in the exciting Feng Miao project?

One of Wood Thilsted’s strengths is our ability to combine expertise from our teams based around the globe with very specific knowledge of local markets. This was key in winning this round of contracts due to the Taiwanese government’s localisation requirements.

Wood Thilsted has been in the Taiwanese offshore wind market since the very beginning. This means we have strong relationships with local contractors and despite high demand were able to secure site investigation agreements with Taiwanese flagged vessels when others could not.

This early procurement approach also meant we could get wider framework agreements in place across many services required for the project, guaranteeing that COP’s bid would benefit and could be delivered by local industry.

Finally, our previous work at the centre of the Taiwanese offshore market, as it has developed and grown, means we understand the detail of specific Taiwanese regulations that some others don’t. This enabled us to provide advice and support for the bid to address specific and detailed issues that we know are of particular importance to the government.

So what does this tell us about the Phases 2 and 3 of this round?

It tells us local knowledge is key. It also tells us that close partnership working, something which Wood Thilsted is particularly adept at, works. Our best work is done when we are embedded as a trusted partner and can pro-actively lead and develop strategies and plans without having to be commissioned in a more traditional approach. In the COP instance, most people will see our team members as being COP but actually we are drawing on the experience of a team of 180 plus to deliver the best outcomes for our clients.

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