Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Norway-based energy company Equinor have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore the opportunities for developing commercial floating offshore windpower in South Korea.
The country is currently pursuing a transition in the energy mix from nuclear and coal to renewable energy.
The proportion of renewable energy is set to increase to 20% of South Korea’s total power generation by 2030. The country is expected to have 49GW of new renewable generation capacity by 2030.
Owned by the South Korean state, KNOC is supporting the government’s ambition of renewable energy by launching a new business for developing floating offshore wind.
It is planning to develop 200MW of floating offshore wind project at its existing Donghae platform, which is 58km off the coast of Ulsan City.
KNOC senior vice-president Jae-Heon Shim said: “Executing an MoU with Equinor will become a critical opportunity that will advance to practical steps of floating offshore wind in Korea.
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“We plan to actively focus on progress and de-risking studies including feasibility studies in collaboration with Equinor. We will make every endeavour to meet the government initiative and create lasting values for local communities.”
In addition, Equinor is operating a full-scale commercial floating offshore windfarm off the coast of the UK (Hywind Scotland).
In the UK, Equinor operates two large-scale offshore windfarms in Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon.
Together with the Arkona windfarm, jointly owned with EON in Germany, these windfarms provide renewable power to more than one million homes in Europe.
Equinor wind and low-carbon in new energy solutions senior vice-president Stephen Bull said: “South Korea has large potential and offers attractive opportunities within offshore wind.
“We are pleased to sign an MoU with KNOC to strengthen our collaboration. We look forward to evaluate how we can further expand our portfolio within the offshore wind and contribute to develop renewable energy solutions in South Korea.”