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Yunlin Project Blog


30 March 2021 – The importance of local project management

Carter Ye is wpd’s Deputy Project Manager based in Taiwan. He discusses the key characteristics of the Yunlin offshore wind farm – from typhoons to a huge vessel spread.

Yunlin is a 640MW offshore wind farm under construction off the coast of Taiwan. It is being developed by German onshore and offshore wind farm operator wpd, the Starwind Offshore consortium and Greenwing Energy. Jumbo was contracted to execute the transportation and (part of) the installation of Yunlin’s wind turbine substructures. This series of Blogs takes a closer look the work involved.

What is your role in the Yunlin offshore wind farm?
I am wpd’s Deputy Project Manager for transportation and installation here in Taiwan. I am currently focusing on the TPs and the monopiles – interfacing between all parties. Especially the contractors and their vessel permits. This includes the harbour logistics, too.

How important is local-based project management?
My main task is to explain the European established methods, concepts, and reasons behind them to the authorities in order convince them of these methods. This is not only introducing the offshore wind power know-how to Taiwan, but also to support the authorities to develop relevant guidelines and regulations, since offshore wind power is something new in Taiwan. 

I think wpd will play an important role in the future of Asian offshore wind. We are building the biggest offshore wind farm in Asia, and we know how to work around typhoons. This will be interesting for the whole of Asia.

Tell us more about typhoons.
In Europe, summer is normally the installation period for offshore wind. Here in Taiwan, unfortunately, we have a typhoon season from July until October. This is a big difference between the European and Asian offshore wind industries. It means that we must have different weather limitation and conditions. And it means that we have to keep running all year round. If we have a weather window, we get our contractors moving.

How many vessels are involved with the installation?
For monopile installation, it is quite a huge spread. We have one installation vessel, two anchor handling tugs, one upending barge, three transportation barges, three ocean-going tugs, and six marine mammal observation vessels. For TP installation, just two vessels, including the Jumbo Javelin. 

What have been the highlights of the project so far?
The fabrication and transportation of the TPs and the monopiles has been a highlight for us. Our local fabrication contractors CTCIM and FHI had delivered 40 TPs and 40 monopiles without OWF experience. And we have 40 TPs and 40 monopiles fabricated by Steelwind and Smulders. This has been coordinated by Jumbo, Steelwind, Smulders, CTCIM and FHI to transport all components to storage area in Taiwan. This means that everything is ready in Taiwan ready for installation.

And what has been the most significant challenge?
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact for us. There are strict controls here in Taiwan – we have lost a lot of time with crew changes because of testing and quarantine periods.

In terms of the coronavirus, what is the outlook for the future?
Although things are not going back to normal, we do have all the correct processes in place for the vessels and crews. And we know how to cooperate with the authorities. This makes everything much smoother.

Do you see any other challenges in the future?
We have a delay in our project, especially the monopile installation. We may have a very tight schedule this year, but we have started piling works and we are going to do our best.

What has it been like to work with Jumbo?
We have regular meetings with Jumbo to discuss the situation and any problems that need to be solved – issues about pilot regulations or quayside loading issues. For example, we have a very low loading capacity at the quayside in Anping. Therefore, it was quite a challenge to load a 1,500-tonne monopile on to a quayside with a 3-tonne per square metre load limit. Jumbo has helped us find solutions with our logistics contractor Mammoet-Giant and make proposals quickly – they have made things very efficient and smooth.

Jumbo is contracted to install the TPs. When does that get started?
After a successful loadout of the first TPs, we are well prepared and ready for TP installation which starts immediately in good weather conditions.

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