South Korean ship building company Samsung Heavy Industries has developed an independent offshore wind floater model, marking its entry into the domestic and overseas offshore wind power generation market.

The company’s Tri-Star Float, a 9.5MW large-scale offshore wind floater model, has received approval in principle (AiP) from Norwegian classification body DNV.

Samsung Heavy Industries said that its Tri-Star Float has a a compact steel-frame structure and does not feature a pontoon. The company claims this reduces the construction period from design and transportation to installation.

The development of the independent floater model started last October before a floating water tank model test at the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO) was completed in March.

The testing process was overseen by government agencies, classification societies and partners of the Donghae-I project, namely GIG-TotalEnergies, Shell, Equinor and KEPCO.

The company said that its independent floater model has been designed following an analysis of data, including wind strength, tide and water depth in the East Sea, to ensure safety in the extreme marine environment.

Samsung Heavy Industries Offshore Business Division vice-president Wang Lee said: “The offshore floater will enable us to make forays into the renewable energy sector using our capacity to build large-scale offshore plants. We hope our development is aligned with the government’s Green New Deal Policy.”

The company will further advance into the market by targeting the government-led Donghae-I floating wind farm project, which is expected to generate 6GW of power.

In February 2019, Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Norway-based energy company Equinor signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore opportunities for developing commercial floating offshore wind power in South Korea.

KNOC shared its plans to develop a 200MW floating offshore wind project at its existing Donghae platform, located 58km off the coast of Ulsan City.