Danish firm Orsted announces mega project to establish offshore wind power complex in S. Korea

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 24, 2020, 18:02 Updated : November 24, 2020, 18:02

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Orsted, a Danish power company involved in major offshore wind power projects in the world, unveiled a green energy project to establish an offshore wind power complex with a potential capacity of up to 1.6GW off South Korea's west coast that is expected to require an investment of about eight trillion won ($7.2 billion).

The announcement was made at an event attended by government officials and company representatives in Seoul on November 24. The wind power complex will be located near Kurop Island off the coast of Incheon, a port city west of Seoul. Orsted said the site has relatively shallow water depths to allow for cost-effective development, saying the project could be commissioned from 2026.

The Danish company said in a statement that it has collected relevant data for the offshore wind farm site. "Orsted's projects in Incheon will support a thriving offshore wind industry in South Korea and contribute to the realization of the government's target of 12GW offshore wind capacity by 2030," said Orsted Asia-Pacific president Matthias Bausenwein.

Bausenwein said that his company would invest up to eight trillion won in the project, which could provide clean energy to 1.4 million households and reduce carbon emissions by almost four million metric tons per year, making significant contributions to a green energy campaign pushed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has called for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Orsted promised to work with South Korean suppliers and shape a healthy and competitive domestic supply chain that can maintain and expand its export success. Earlier in the day, LS Cable & Systems (C&S), a top cable maker in South Korea, secured a five-year deal to supply high voltage export cables for offshore wind farms to Orsted.

"With strong industrial capabilities, significant supply chain potential, and numerous sites with promising offshore wind conditions, South Korea has a fantastic starting point for becoming a leading offshore wind market," said Orsted Offshore CEO Martin Neubert.

In an effort to reduce the use of fossil fuel and nuclear power for electricity generation, South Korea is gradually switching to renewable energy sources. The Seoul government has endorsed a number of projects to build clean energy facilities, including solar power plants and wind farms, onshore and offshore.

On November 19, SK Engineering and Construction, a major builder in South Korea, joined an all-star business team involving domestic and foreign companies that would secure core technologies and develop a competitive model for floating offshore wind farm projects at home and abroad. The company has been involved in wind farm projects in South Korea, which has pushed for the wider introduction of wind power to reduce the use of fossil and nuclear energy.

Offshore wind farms built on the surface of deep sea can generate more electricity than those set up in shallow waters. They consume less space compared to other renewable energy sources such as solar power plants and can survive extremely harsh environmental conditions. According to Fortune Business Insights, a market research firm, the global market for floating wind farms is growing at an annual growth rate of 49.9 percent to reach $9.3 billion by 2026.

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