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Macquarie wades into Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm

Investing alongside industry titan DONG, the Australian firm hopes to agree further deals in Taiwan’s offshore wind market in the next couple of years.

Macquarie Capital has bought a 50 percent stake in Formosa I, Taiwan’s first 128MW offshore wind farm from local developer Swancor Renewable.

In what was described by Macquarie as a “pathfinder” project, it was joined by Danish offshore wind developer DONG Energy which took a 35 percent stake. Swancor will remain in the project with a 15 percent share.

The deal represents the second time in a matter of weeks that Macquarie and DONG have collaborated together in the offshore wind sector, with the Australian firm paying £1.6 billion ($2 billion; €1.9 billion) last month for a 50 percent stake in the 573MW Race Bank offshore wind farm in the UK.

The Taiwanese project had its first 8MW installed in October last year. The remaining 120MW is set to be built during 2019, subject to a final investment decision.

Speaking to Infrastructure Investor, Macquarie Capital’s ?head of infrastructure, utilities and renewables Mark Dooley said the investment is part of the firm’s much bigger ambition in the Taiwanese market. The company said last year it would spend $792 million in Taiwan’s offshore wind industry and Dooley said that Macquarie is working on the next deals, expected to be agreed in the next couple of years. He added that it is also closely following the nascent offshore wind market in the US.

Taiwanese renewables have received a boost since Tsai Ing-wen, a critic of nuclear power, was elected as President last year. It has since attracted investment from Swiss firm Partners Group and domestic company Cathay Life Insurance after Tsai increased the nation’s renewable energy target to 20 percent by 2025, a figure that currently stands at about 4 percent.