Taiwan officials eye Cleethorpes visit in bid to forge energy links
Inset, Catherine Nettleton with Martin Vickers at the British Office in Taiwan.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 9 Nov 2017
TAIWANESE officials will be visiting Cleethorpes next month – with the purpose of, quite literally, getting some sea air.
Liu Chih-Kung – the chief representative from the Taipei Representative Office in the UK – is due to meet with key figures in the offshore wind sector on December 7 and 8, with trade on the agenda.
Taiwan, which does not officially have its own embassy due a continuing dispute with China over its “One China” policy, imports 98 per cent of its energy.
It means the east Asian country could be a major new buyer of offshore energy coming off wind farms like the Grimsby-run Hornsea, which will be the world’s largest once completed.
Martin Vickers, the Conservative MP for Cleethorpes – who helped facilitate the visit – said the meeting was about “forging closer links” with Taiwan.
The backbencher also said he hoped the benefits of exporting renewable energy would help the “middle men” in the region’s supply chain, and not only the big players.
“Orsted [formerly Dong Energy] and Siemens are already established – but they have a supply chain around the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area,” said Mr Vickers.
“I’m hoping my introductions to the representative will lead to discussions that will provide work for those small companies. The ‘Orsteds’ of this world can look after themselves but if you are a medium sized operator on Grimsby Docks, then they may need some help.”
Anecdotally, Liu Chih-Kung will have something in common with his UK counterpart – they will both be able to discuss the best place in Cleethorpes to get fish and chips. Catherine Nettleton, the representative in the British Office Taipei, was educated in Cleethorpes.