South Korea to Explore Floating Offshore Wind Opportunities with Equinor

floating offshore wind
Photo: Equinor

South Korea’s national oil company is teaming up with Norway’s Equinor to develop commercial floating offshore wind in South Korean waters as the Korean government looks to add more renewables to the country’s energy mix.

The deal comes in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Korea National Oil Corporation and Equinor ASA to jointly explore opportunities for developing floating offshore wind farms.

“South Korea has large potential and offers attractive opportunities within offshore wind. We are pleased to sign a MoU with KNOC to strengthen our collaboration. We look forward to evaluating how we can further expand our portfolio within offshore wind and contribute to develop renewable energy solutions in South Korea,” says Stephen Bull, senior vice president for Wind and Low Carbon in New Energy Solutions in Equinor.

“Executing a MoU with Equinor will become a critical opportunity that will advance to practical steps of floating offshore wind in Korea. We plan to actively focus on progress and de-risking studies including feasibility studies in collaboration with Equinor. We will make every endeavor to meet the government initiative and create lasting values for local communities,” says Jae-Heon Shim, senior vice president at KNOC.

South Korea is pursuing a fundamental transition to add more renewable energy to its energy mix, currently consisting of mostly nuclear and coal. By proportion, renewable energy in Korea’s country’s power generation is set to increase to 20% by 2030; which translates to a target of 49GW of new renewable generation capacity by 2030.

KNOC is 100% owned by the South Korean state.

To support the South Korean government’s ambition for more renewable energy, KNOC will build on its offshore experience and launching a new business by developing floating offshore wind. KNOC is looking to develop a 200 MW floating offshore wind project at their existing Donghae platform 58 km off the coast of Ulsan City.

Equinor is operating the world’s first full-scale commercial floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland, off the coast of the UK, which opened in October 2017.

In the UK, Equinor operates two larg- scale offshore wind farms based on bottom fixed technology (Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon). Together with the Arkona windfarm in Germany (owned jointly with EON), these windfarms provide renewable power to more than 1,000,000 homes in Europe.

Equinor says it is also engaging in developing large-scale wind projects offshore the UK, Germany, Poland and the US, with Asia as being a key future market.