Offshore wind proponents to study Port Taranaki's future as a sector hub

New Zealand's two largest offshore wind energy proponents have reached at agreement to work together with Port Taranaki to assess whether the port can serve as a hub for the sector.

Offshore wind proponents to study Port Taranaki's future as a sector hub
Photo: Port Taranaki

NZ Super Fund and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ Taranaki Offshore Partnership (TOP) has reached an agreement with Port Taranaki and BlueFloat Energy (BFE) to work together to assess how the port can serve as a hub for offshore wind development in New Zealand, including offshore Taranaki.

The agreement signed between the parties is for a study that will help build an understanding of how the port’s assets, infrastructure and land can support the growth of an offshore wind industry in Aotearoa.

The study will also determine if particular port upgrades and investments are needed for offshore wind developers to construct, operate and maintain their projects. This includes assessment of the port’s wharves, crane lifting capacity, land and storage layout and the specific need to transport and service wind turbines.

The results of the study will be part of the broader respective feasibility activities being undertaken by TOP and by BFE in relation to their separate planned offshore wind projects in Waikato and South Taranaki with BFE’s partner, Elemental Group.

Port Taranaki Chief Executive Simon Craddock said the possibilities and potential for offshore wind production in Taranaki and other regions of New Zealand were exciting.

Mr Craddock said:

“New Zealand has one of the best offshore wind resources in the world, and it’s likely this industry will play an important role in a low-emissions future.

“With our proximity to the proposed development site, our skills and experience having worked in the energy industry, our laydown and storage areas available on-site, and our berths for the specialist support vessels, we believe Port Taranaki has a key role to play in support of this emerging industry.

“We wanted to formalise our support and involvement, and through this agreement we’ll work with the parties and investigate how best we can support the development of an offshore wind industry in New Zealand.” 

Taranaki Offshore Partnership’s Giacomo Caleffi said with multiple developers indicating interest in offshore wind development in Taranaki and beyond, it makes sense to work together on this Port Taranaki study as the outcomes will be relevant to assessing the feasibility of any of the proposed developments.

Mr Caleffi said:

“From our experience, with CIP’s portfolio of many offshore wind projects operational, under construction and in-development in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, it’s important to take the right opportunities to collaborate with key partners and other developers to best position offshore wind, as a new industry for New Zealand, for success.”

BlueFloat Energy Country Manager for New Zealand Nathan Turner said:

“We are really excited to be part of this agreement with NZ Super Fund and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ Taranaki Offshore Partnership and Port Taranaki.

Mr Turner said:

“We are strong advocates for developing the offshore wind industry collaboratively and this will help all of us to keep up the momentum.” “The announcement of the Government’s discussion paper in late 2022 to enable investment in offshore renewable energy demonstrates a strong commitment to this strategically important industry and makes us very positive about the future of offshore wind in Aotearoa.”

“Port Taranaki is ideally positioned for both of the offshore wind projects we have recently announced in South Taranaki and Waikato. As the only deep water port on the west coast, Port Taranaki will be central to building a successful offshore wind industry in New Zealand.”