9 ports up for redevelopment to cater to offshore wind projects

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have initially identified nine ports in the country that can undergo redevelopment to cater to the requirements of offshore wind projects. DOE Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol said on Tuesday that through a grant, the ADB is doing a study with the agency to assess nine existing ports that can be repurposed as part of the country's infrastructure readiness for offshore wind farms. These ports are mostly in Luzon and Visayas, particularly the Currimao Port in Ilocos Norte, Port Irene in Cagayan Valley, the Energy Supply Base Port of the Philippine National Oil Company in Batangas, as well as other ports in Batangas, Mindoro, Bacolod and Iloilo. At the Wind Energy Forum of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. in Quezon City, the DOE official said the government has awarded a total of 79 offshore wind service contracts to date, with a potential capability of producing 61.93 gigawatts of clean power. She said readiness of port infrastructure is one of the critical requirements for developers in constructing offshore wind projects. However, none of the existing ports in the country can meet the standards for offshore wind projects as these require sufficient water depths and wider access channel. 'We just started the study. There will be series of meetings with ADB to determine the readiness, or what kind of upgrading are needed to meet the standards for offshore wind development,' she said. The study is expected to be finished next year, she added. Capongcol said the port developer should lead in the redevelopment project. The identified ports are owned by both private entities and also local government units. 'We have increasing number of service contracts. We can see the interest of players to develop offshore wind (projects)... From these alone, they can possibly cater to the requirement of the offshore wind development,' she said. In the same event, NIRAS Regional Director for Asia John Stasig Møerk said ports are needed in offshore wind projects to load and transport wind turbine components, such as tower sections, blades and nacelles that are transported to the offshore installation site via specialized vessels to ensure safe and efficient transportation. He added that ports are often utilized by offshore wind projects as base of operations for installation and commissioning activities. Offshore wind projects also need base ports for operations and maintenance, storage of decommissioned components, logistics and supply chain management, Møerk said.

Source: Philippines News Agency