ABP and TIPC lay foundations for international collaboration on Floating Offshore Wind

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Image Caption (L to R): Andy Reay, Head of Offshore Wind, ABP; Andrew Harston, Strategic Adviser, ABP; Hsien-Yi Lee, Chairman, Taiwan International Ports Corp., Ltd (TIPC); Josephine Lee, Deputy Secretary-General, Department of European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Shu-Hui Cheng, Vice President of Business, TIPC; Chin-Jung Wang, Executive Vice President, TIPC; Tiger Huang, Investment Department Senior Director, TIPC.

Associated British Ports ("ABP") has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Taiwan International Ports Corporation (“TIPC”), in a ceremony at the Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal Port of Kaohsiung Passenger Terminal. The MOU opens the door for information and experience sharing between the two signatories on floating offshore wind (“FLOW”) related port facilities and for the exploration of future business collaboration opportunities.

Henrik L. Pedersen, CEO of ABP, said: “This agreement with Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) represents an exciting new stage in our journey towards net zero, for which international collaboration is key. Floating offshore wind presents huge opportunities to the UK, from becoming a global leader in green energy generation to creating significant jobs, prosperity and energy security. We look forward to working with TIPC to exchange ideas and accelerate the advancement of this technology.” 

The MOU was signed by TIPC Vice President of Business, Shu-hui Cheng and ABP Head of Offshore Wind, Andy Reay and witnessed by TIPC Chairman, Hsien-yi Lee and British Office Taipei Representative John Dennis.

TIPC Vice President of Business Shu-hui Cheng, said: “The third phase of offshore wind power development is about to unfold in Taiwan. With larger scale wind turbines, localization policies, etc., there will be more demand for land and space in ports of Taiwan, and the demonstration plan of floating wind will also bring up more requirements and challenges. Through the signing of the MOU with ABP and information sharing between the two parties, I believe that TIPC will be fully prepared on port planning and construction in coordination with offshore wind power policies.

“I would also like to express my deepest appreciation for ABP to visit Taiwan and sign MOU with TIPC despite their busy schedule. I believe that the signing of the memorandum is the beginning of mutual cooperation and an important development of future port cooperation between UK and Taiwan.”

ABP is the UK’s leading and largest port operator with a network of 21 ports around UK, handling a quarter of all UK port volumes, worth £157bn in 2022. It provides critical support services to various national sectors, including energy, cruise tourism, container shipping, agricultural and forestry products, automotive, and steel. Many of ABP’s ports are in close proximity to major British offshore wind farms, and ABP offers tailored services at its various ports to meet wind farm needs.

For example, the Port of Hull hosts the Siemens Gamesa wind turbine blade factory, the Port of Grimsby hosts Europe's largest offshore wind turbine operations and maintenance centre and the Ports of Lowestoft and Barrow also host significant O&M hubs. ABP has bold plans for future growth of its offshore wind related activities, including a transformational project to develop a major floating offshore wind hub port at Port Talbot. To further foster exchange and cooperation, TIPC Chairman, Lee took a delegation to the UK in July to visit ABP CEO, Henrik L. Pedersen and share experiences as well as to invite ABP to visit Taiwan.

Attaining zero-carbon emissions is essential to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and ameliorating the impact of human activities on the environment. Offshore wind farms, which generate clean, sustainable, and renewable power, are an important part of any energy transformation strategy targeting reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality. TIPC Chairman, Lee stressed that ports have a crucial role to play in the current and future development of offshore wind power. TIPC is particularly interested in learning how to best develop the port infrastructures necessary to support the future development and installation of FLOW in Taiwan. This, he remarked, was a key incentive for TIPC to seek this new MOU with ABP.

Enabling the clean energy transition is also a key focus for ABP, as it launched its ‘Ready for Tomorrow’ sustainability strategy in February 2023, which sets out the port operator’s plans to achieve net zero from its own operations by 2040. The strategy is backed by a £2bn investment in decarbonising ABP’s own operations and enabling large scale green energy infrastructure projects such as FLOW in Port Talbot. ABP is planning to invest around £500 million to upgrade the Port Talbot site to support the wind farms and provide investors, developers and manufacturers the confidence to run large, long-term projects that will generate thousands of high-quality jobs.