30MW Tamra offshore wind farm delivers first power

SOUTH KOREA: The country's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, located in the coastal waters of Jeju island, has delivered first power, with full operation expected in 2017.

South Korea's installed capacity had consisted of a testbed in Jeju, including one of Doosan's 3MW machines

The wind farm, comprising ten 3MW turbines manufactured by Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, marks an important step in South Korea's nascent offshore wind market, which has stubbornly remained at 5MW in size since 2011.

South Korea has sizeable offshore shipping, oil and gas and steel-making industries as well as plans for at least eight offshore wind projects, including the first and second phases of the 2.5GW Southwest offshore wind project. However, progress has been slow.

The country's installed offshore wind capacity has so far consisted of a testbed in Jeju, set up by Korea Institute of Energy Research (Kier).

The testbed includes one of Doosan's 3MW machines and a 2MW turbine produced by Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore, which filed for receivership earlier this year.

Tamra's progress has not been smooth. In 2013 the project, originally 60MW in size, had its permit suspended due to local opposition and had to be downsized.

Earlier this year South Korean steel maker POSCO sold its share in Tamra Offshore Wind Power Company, the special purpose vehicle company developing the project, to Korea South East Power and NongHyup.

LOC, a global marine and shipping surveyor , was appointed by reinsurers Swiss Re and Korean Re to provide the marine warranty certificates on Tamra.

The certificates, awarded at various stages of the construction of the wind farm are required to ensure the validity of any insurance claims filed during the project's operation.

Tamra is the first offshore wind project LOC has worked on in Asia-Pacific. The company is a leading provide of marine warranty surveying services to the offshore wind industry, having worked on 6GW-worth of projects in European waters and also the 30MW Block Island wind project, which will be the first commercial offshore wind farm in US waters when it is commissioned.