Editorial / 02 Apr 2023

Support for small nations with big ideas

It can be a challenge for small countries to develop and integrate critical infrastructure into their limited available land. Even more so for large renewable energy projects that need plenty of open space to capture wind, wave and solar power.

But that has not deterred the many from joining the global drive towards decarbonisation and sustainability.

Denmark, one of the smaller countries in Europe, has not let limited land mass get in its way. 67% of its electricity supply came from renewable sources in 2021, and it aims to be 100% fossil-fuel-free by 2050. The country began looking into the possibilities of wind energy after the oil crisis of 1973, with the first commercial wind turbine erected in 1979. The success of onshore wind power inspired the development of offshore development and today despite its relatively small size, Denmark is a clean energy pioneer with its wind production per capita exceeding any other OECD country.

GAC Denmark has provided critical support to clients during the construction of offshore windfarms, including; seabed surveys and soil sampling; supporting export cable installation, inter array installation and replacement; and assisting heavy lift vessels during the construction phase.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is seeking to expand the share of renewable energy sources in its energy mix. The government has allocated 41% of its $1.2 billion Recovery and Resilience Plan funds to secure Cyprus’s green transition. Over 16% of its energy consumption currently comes from renewable sources and, by 2030, that number must rise to 23% with the ultimate goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The country aims to introduce new and disruptive smart grid technologies, as well as state-of-the-art control and storage methods to be used in parallel with new electricity market approaches. But it will require considerable investment to create the necessary infrastructure.

Helping infrastructure to grow
GAC has what it takes to support such efforts.

“We provide a wide range of logistics, transportation and project management services to support many countries’ growing renewable energy infrastructure,” says Gopalakrishnan Srinivasan, GAC’s Group General Manager – Special Projects – Energy.

“We have worked closely with local and international partners to deliver renewable energy projects like solar farms, wind turbines and energy storage systems.”

Gopalakrishnan Srinivasan Group General Manager Special Projects

Look offshore
Taiwan is developing its offshore wind energy capacity, with ambitions to generate 5.5 GW by 2025. GAC has been providing logistics and transportation services for these offshore wind projects, which involve the installation of massive wind turbines in the sea.

Taiwan Demob for Greater Changhua project
Demobilisation for the Greater Changhua project in Taiwan

One of them is the Greater Changhua project which, with GAC’s support, used unmanned surfaced vessels (USVs) to complete multiple small scopes during the wind farm installation, including monitoring of seabed conditions, sand waves, asset integrity of monopiles and cable stability.

The USV was deployed from an offshore supply vessel and when not in use, held in a container on shore. GAC handled its demobilisation including its cradle, the launch recovery system and container, as well import/export customs formalities, schedule planning, hire of cranes, trailers and unloading equipment unloading, transportation to warehouse, and final delivery to Europe.

“Taipei’s plans for wind power are incredibly exciting,” says Kenny So, GAC Taiwan’s Managing Director. “And we have responded by opening our new office in Taichung Port, putting us closer to project sites, allowing us to respond more quickly to customer needs and enabling us to be part of an alternative energy revolution.”

Kenny So GAC Taiwans Managing Director

Streamlined logistics
Singapore has long been a key hub for the offshore energy, and GAC can support the development of renewable projects, providing logistics and transportation services for equipment and spare parts.

“We have the advantage of having our warehouse capacity inside Singapore’s Free Trade Zone and being able to keep most of our operations in-house,” says Gene Lee, Business Manager of Shipping Services. “This streamlines our activities and reduces the hassle of outsourced services or tax-related bureaucracy.”

Further, thanks to the small island nation’s excellent sea and air connections, it is home to many energy companies and is a key regional hub for the offshore sector, enabling GAC to support projects in places like Thailand, Vietnam and - at the other end of the scale - Australia.

Gene Lee Business Manager of Shipping Services

Drawing on past experience
In the Caribbean, GAC has already established a service hub to support established petroleum projects in Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname. Much of what is involved in various stages of offshore wind farms mirror those provided for fossil fuels, especially in the development and construction stages. Further, the advantages the region offered the fossil fuel business – strategic location, good transportation links, social and political stability – will stand it in good stead as the Caribbean seeks to make that transition.

Negotiations for a major solar project in Trinidad and Tobago have been successfully concluded by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in partnership with bp Alternative Energy Trinidad and Tobago, Shell Renewables Caribbean and UK-based solar-developer Lightsource bp. The project, which will have a capacity of 112 MWac/148 MWp, represents the country’s first large-scale solar initiative.

GAC Ship Agency SA10

As climate change concerns push the imperative to transition to sustainable energy, GAC will draw on its experience, expertise and resources serving oil & gas to support renewables.

Adapt to survive
More and more small countries are expanding their horizons to explore ways to reduce their carbon footprint and transition towards a sustainable energy future.

GAC has a strong tradition of adapting to change, whether it be new demands, new locations, new services or a changing business climate. And its support for renewables, large and small, reflects the Group's commitment to sustainable development and the global energy transition.

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