Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok enters Taiwan's wind energy market

Billionaire Robert Kuok controls PPB, which is buying the stake in developer Hillcrest Gardens.

PETALING JAYA: Tycoon Robert Kuok is entering the wind energy market in Taiwan through a collaboration between two companies linked to him.

In a joint statement yesterday, Singapore-listed PACC Offshore Services Holdings Ltd (POSH) and Kerry TJ Logistics, a unit of Hong Kong-listed Kerry Logistics Network Ltd, said they were forming a joint-venture (JV) company – POSH Kerry Renewables (POSH Kerry) – in Taiwan.

The JV aims to provide an integrated solutions platform for offshore wind farm developers, EPCI (engineering, procurement, construction and installation) contractors and wind turbine manufacturers.

“This is the first time that two major players in their respective fields have integrated supply chain and marine solutions on a single platform capable of supporting the entire offshore renewables project life cycle,” POSH and Kerry TJ said in the joint statement yesterday.

“Leveraging the capabilities and assets of both companies, POSH Kerry will provide a comprehensive portfolio including the end-to-end transportation of wind turbines and components, as well as diversified marine solutions during the installation, operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms in Taiwan,” it added.

The JV between POSH and Kerry TJ unveiled yesterday came just weeks after Taiwan awarded the rights to develop its first commercial-scale offshore wind projects.

The projects, expected to be executed over two phases, could deliver more than five gigawatts of wind power to Taiwan’s shores.

Kuok is a controlling shareholder of POSH, an offshore marine services provider. The Malaysian tycoon also owns interests in Taiwan-based logistics firm Kerry TJ through its stake in Kerry Logistics Network.

Meanwhile, the JV partners said they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rolls-Royce to explore suitable designs for walk-to-work and services operations vessels specific to offshore wind operations.

A separate MoU was also signed by the JV partners with Macquarie Capital and Swancor to jointly explore collaboration opportunities in the Taiwan offshore wind market.

According to POSH deputy CEO Lee Keng Lin, Taiwan is one of the fastest growing offshore wind markets in Asia.

Business Times quoted Lee as saying that POSH viewed Taiwan as “an open market that welcomes contributions from foreign players with good track records in the offshore marine services sector”.

By Lee’s estimate, about one-third or 40 vessels on POSH’s current fleet are suited for deployment in offshore wind projects, the Singapore business daily said.

Enterprise Singapore, an agency championing enterprise development, voiced its support for the POSH-Kerry TJ joint venture.

Director for Precision Engineering, Marine & Offshore and Engineering Services, Enterprise Singapore, Ho Chi Bao said: “As renewables form an increasing part of the energy mix in Asia, Singapore companies such as POSH can leverage their expertise in operating offshore vessels and project logistics to contribute to wind energy developments.

“Enterprise Singapore has been working closely with POSH on its entry into Taiwan through sharing insight into the market landscape and facilitating connections to key business partners.

“We will continue to facilitate such partnerships to enable Singapore players to offer their solutions and expand into the renewables space.”

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