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Leading one of the first offshore wind projects in Taiwan – Kimberly Cram's story

The Formosa 2 offshore wind project is one of the first of its kind in Taiwan. Currently under construction, Formosa 2 will produce power equivalent to the energy needs of up to 380,000 households. Kimberly Cram took an unusual route from a lawyer in Scotland to lead one of Asia’s foremost renewable energy projects.

Project Director for Formosa 2, Kimberly Cram, took an unusual route for a project director, moving to Taiwan from Scotland where she started out as a lawyer.

"Offshore wind has been a buoyant sector in the UK and across Europe, involving a wide range of specialist skill sets. Project directors have typically come from a construction or engineering background," she says. "While my career path has been more diverse, it's a natural fit for leading a large, multi-cultural team in a new sector. 

"My legal background and experience advising on large infrastructure projects give me a solid foundation for understanding project delivery and management requirements, as well as the ability to establish an experienced team to manage projects safely."

Kimberly’s focus on construction and project management expanded when she was seconded to a Scottish utility company.

After becoming a permanent member of the in-house legal team, she changed paths and became the commercial director for its UK offshore wind projects. This role widened her scope and focused on overall project management for those complex projects.

Formosa 2 Groundbreaking Day in Taiwan.

 

After nine years at the company, the opportunity to try new challenges drew Kimberly to Macquarie’s Green Investment Group in Taiwan.

"The opportunity to come to a market that is creating a new renewable industry and being a core part of delivering it was hugely appealing. It was a unique opportunity to come to Taiwan at the start of the offshore wind industry, and to be part of the journey on something so substantial in terms of scale, complexity and impact."

Kimberly arrived in Taipei with her husband and two young daughters in April 2017. Quickly settling in, she played a central role in the development of Formosa 1.

One of the pin piles to support the jacket foundation for a wind turbine on Formosa 2.

 

"The energy sector in Taiwan is going through a major transformation. Offshore wind projects will play an important role in creating clean sustainable energy for Taiwan.

"As part of our mission to accelerate the green transition, Macquarie’s GIG is increasingly taking a bigger role in the development of renewables projects," Kimberly says. "Here, we saw an opportunity to come in at the very start of a sector as a developer, create an experienced technical delivery team and help drive forward the creation of these major projects."

Kimberly has been assembling the expertise – from project managers, engineers, contract managers, construction specialists and finance professionals – to drive delivery of the project. The current project team of more than 100 people has rapidly expanded as the project moves forward through the construction phase.

Kimberly Cram at the Formosa 2 Community Day.

 

About a third of Kimberly's team are Taiwanese, the rest come from around the globe. There is a diverse mix of gender, ethnicity and experience. That diversity has been "critical to the continued success of the project," she says.

"I encourage the team to share their perspectives. We have different experiences and skill sets from around the world, so we need to bring that together to build the project safely and successfully."

Life in Taiwan is also a positive experience: "Taiwan’s combination of modernity with tradition has created a culture that is very approachable and open-minded. That's exactly what is required to deliver in this new space."

Regularly switching between the office and site, for Kimberly every day is different. "As head of the project, I am involved in leading and supporting the team across a diverse range of topics, from stakeholder and lender management, complex technical and commercial negotiations as well as ensuring we are setting the optimal health and safety culture. Leading the project brings incredible variety and its rewarding to see what GIG and our team is achieving in Taiwan in creating long-term sustainable benefits for the community."

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