Offshore wind champion Ørsted is concerned the coronavirus crisis may delay the kick-off of Japan’s first tender for utility-scale offshore wind projects, Matthias Bausenwein, president of the utility’s Asia-Pacific unit said.

“The pandemic will not influence investment decisions and general confidence in offshore wind, but it could delay the projects’ timeline,” Bausenwein told the Reuters news agency. “We hope that we won’t see any major delays.”

Ørsted last month had announced it has formed a joint venture with Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to bid for the Choshi area off northern Japan in the island nation’s first tender for wind at sea. Choshi could have a capacity of several hundred megawatts or more, Ørsted had told Recharge last year.

Ørsted CEO Henrik Poulsen then had said he expects the auction to take place in the second half of the year.

Japan at first was much less affected by the spread of Covid-19 than European countries, thanks to early containment measures. But recently rising infections have prompted prime minister Shinzo Abe last week to declare a state of emergency to fight the spread of the virus.

Ørsted’s offshore wind projects in Taiwan have not been affected, Bausenwein told Reuters, but may see an impact over time.

The Danish company is building the 900MW Greater Changhua 1&2a project off Taiwan, which it expects to commission in 2022.