The MunmuBaram floating offshore wind farm is expected to commence operations in 2027. Credit: Hexicon.
The environmental impact assessment for the project started in May 2022. Credit: MUNMUBARAM.
Vestas was selected as the preferred turbine supplier for the project in November 2022. Credit: MUNMUBARAM.

The 1.3GW MunmuBaram floating wind farm is planned to be developed off the south-east coast of South Korea through a joint venture (JV) partnership between Shell (80%) and Swedish floating wind technology developer Hexicon (20%).

Geotechnical and geophysical surveys were completed in September 2021 and the JV partners were granted electricity business licenses (EBLs) for the project by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, in March 2022. The turbine supplier for the project was also selected in the same year.

The final investment decision for the Won6tn ($4.9bn) MunmuBaram wind farm is expected in 2025, with commissioning anticipated in 2027.

The floating offshore wind farm is expected to produce 4.65TWh of clean electricity a year, which will be enough to power approximately one million South Korean households. It is estimated to offset 2.33 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

The MunmuBaram project is in line with South Korea’s Renewable Energy 2030 Plan, which aims to increase the share of green renewable energy to 20% of the energy mix by 2030 and support the country’s 2050 carbon neutrality goals.

Location and site details

The wind farm will be developed between 65km and 80km off the coast of Ulsan, South Korea. The site will spread over an area of 240km² at water depths ranging between 120m and 150m.

MunmuBaram project development details

The MunmuBaram JV was formally established by Shell Overseas Investments and CoensHexicon in September 2021. CoensHexicon (now Hexicon Korea) is a JV between Hexicon (49%) and Korean company COENS (51%). Hexicon increased its direct ownership in the project by buying 20% interest in MunmuBaram from Hexicon Korea in August 2022.

The environmental impact assessment for the project was initiated in May 2022. The wind farm holds three EBLs provided by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. The first license to advance 420MW of wind power was granted in November 2021. It was followed by the grant of two additional licenses to cover the project’s total planned capacity in March 2022.

MunmuBaram wind farm makeup

The wind farm is planned to be developed in phases. It will be installed with 84 Vestas V236-15MW wind turbines mounted on floating foundations. It will utilise Hexicon’s patented floating wind design TwinWin, using one floating foundation for two turbines.

With a rotor diameter of 236m and a blade length of 115.5m, each V236-15.0MW offshore wind turbine will have a swept area of 43,742m² and a rated power output of 15MW.

The electricity generated by the turbines will be gathered and transmitted to an offshore substation through inter-array cables. An export cable will further transmit the electricity from the offshore substation to an onshore substation for grid connection.

The onshore component will involve developing a grid connection with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The landfall and onshore substation, and onshore transmission lines will also be developed.

The offshore development will consist of the installation of wind turbines, laying export cables, establishing floater, and mooring and inter-array cables. The floating and fixed offshore substation and export cables will also be built.

Power offtake

Korea Southern Power, a subsidiary of KEPCO, signed a memorandum of understanding with Shell to offtake the power output of the MunmuBaram wind farm in March 2022.

Contractors involved

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas was selected as the preferred turbine supplier for the project in November 2022. Vestas will also provide service and maintenance for the wind farm for a period of 20 years upon the installation of turbines.

Fugro was engaged to conduct geophysical and geotechnical investigations at the project site.