Norway's Equinor partners with S. Korean company to cooperate for offshore wind power projects

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 17, 2021, 17:20 Updated : November 18, 2021, 08:23

Jacques-Etienne Michel (R), managing director of Equinor South Korea, and Korea East-West Power CEO Kim Yung-moon (L) pose for a picture after they signed a business cooperation agreement in the southeastern port city of Ulsan on November 17. [Courtesy of Equinor]

SEOUL -- Equinor, a Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company, tied up with Korea East-West Power, a public power generation company, to cooperate for 3.0 gigawatts of offshore wind power projects in South Korea. The partnership underlines Equinor's strategy to take a leading role in developing a pipeline of offshore wind projects in a country that is actively pushing for a green energy campaign to expand the use of renewable energy.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed on November 17 at the headquarters of Korea East-West Power (EWP) in the southeastern industrial port city of Ulsan, the two companies agreed to jointly promote offshore wind power development projects in South Korea and actively engage in technology exchanges.

They would cooperate in the joint development of business models through their development know-how and technology exchanges. A technical cooperation consultative body will be formed in December to establish an operation maintenance strategy optimized for offshore wind power generation in South Korea, which aims to expand the capacity of renewable energy up to 60 GW by 2034. Some 12GW will come from offshore wind by 2030.

"South Korea aims to become one of the leading global markets for offshore wind in the next decade," Equinor's executive vice president Pal Eitrheim said in a statement. "We see a big potential to leverage our experience in building a new industry together with Korea's world-class supply chain," Eitrheim said. Equinor hopes to develop the first commercial floating offshore wind farm in South Korea.

Given coastal water depths around the Korean peninsula, floating solutions are required to realize South Korea's renewables ambitions, Equinor said, adding it would use its technology developed specifically for Korean waters and local conditions. Compared to fixed offshore wind farms which are generally installed in shallow waters, floating wind turbines located in deep waters can reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and reach stronger and more consistent winds.

Equinor operates Hywind Scotland, the world's first commercial floating offshore wind farm commissioned in 2017 off the coast of Scotland. It is also involved in the construction of Hywind Tampen, the world's largest floating offshore wind farm in the North Sea. With abundant offshore experience and project management expertise, Equinor said it is "uniquely" qualified to develop floating offshore wind farms in South Korea in a safe and efficient way.

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