To comply with the Offshore Wind Power Development Policy, Maritime and Port Bureau, MOTC has actively sought to adjust the shipping lanes for offshore wind farms off the coast of Changhua. This will maximize integrity of the offshore wind power development zone while maintaining shipping safety and the development of Taiwan's ports and shipping. Maritime and Port Bureau stated that the shipping lanes were designated to ensure shipping safety. They were reported to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) years ago, during the initial stage of the Wind Power Policy. The MOEA has also provided the information to companies, and there have been no reports of readjustment issues.
The potential offshore wind power sites announced by the Bureau of Energy are mainly located off the coast of Changhua. In addition to partial overlaps with direct cross-strait shipping lanes announced in 2009, the site also cuts across the regular shipping lanes from north to south. To comply with the Offshore Wind Power Development Policy, the Deputy Ministers of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan jointly hosted five Offshore Wind Power Advancement Meetings. Maritime and Port Bureau of the MOTC and the Bureau of Energy of the MOEA also formed a task force to plan the shipping lanes for the Changhua offshore wind farm. The task force took into consideration factors that may impact shipping safety and port development, such as hazardous sea conditions in the Taiwan Strait, the density of maritime traffic, possibility of fishing boat crossings, and the length of the shipping lanes. As a result, the draft plan for a shipping lane 11 nautical miles wide at the northern end and 7.1 nautical miles wide at the south was adjusted to 9 nautical miles wide both north and south. A total of six seminars were held in the North, Central and South regions and it was decided in the resolution of the third Offshore Wind Power Advancement Meeting of the aforementioned inter-agency group on January 24 this year.
Maritime and Port Bureau, MOTC stated that it has already made substantial adjustments to the existing direct cross-strait shipping lanes that were announced in 2009 to comply with the wind power development policy. The adjustments included both cancellation and shifts of certain shipping lanes into the Port of Taichung. In consideration of navigational safety requirements, the wind farm sea area available for development should be maximized and its integrity should be maintained. According to estimates of the Bureau of Energy, the total power generation of the sea area should remain at 4.72GW after the establishment of the 9 nautical mile-wide shipping lanes. It will not affect the Bureau's goals for reaching 3GW in power generation by 2025 and 4GW in power generation by 2030.
Maritime and Port Bureau further explained that due to the differences in shipping environments in different nations, plans for shipping lane plans cannot always be fully implemented. The Galloper Wind Farm in the United Kingdom has a shipping lane 4.14 nautical miles wide, mainly due to the natural shoals on both sides, rather than any artificial planning. The southern end of the shipping lane also includes a main shipping lane (with a width of over 10 nautical miles) for navigation by large ships. The regular north-to-south shipping lane off the coast of Changhua is a natural extension of the Penghu Channel. It is the only shipping lane on the west coast of Taiwan. For maritime safety and the safety of the wind farm, the 9 nautical mile-wide shipping lanes have no room for reduction.
In addition, in response to proposals from external parties for the establishment of shipping lanes west of the entire potential wind farm location, the Marine and Port Bureau responded by stating that the Ports of Taipei, Taichung, Mailiao, and Kaohsiung on the west coast of Taiwan and the Port of Keelung on the northeast coast have made the Taiwan Strait an indispensable shipping lane for major international shipping. If the shipping lane is established west of the wind farm's potential location as a whole, it would increase shipping times and costs for ships to dock in major commercial ports in Taiwan. This would not be beneficial to the overall development of shipping in Taiwan.