Ørsted joins flurry of offshore wind projects in South Korea

Ørsted aims to develop South Korean offshore wind projects with a potential capacity of up to 1.6GW off the coast of Incheon City

Ørsted has helped to develop more than 7.4GW of operational offshore wind capacity worldwide, including the 659MW Walney Extension project off the west coast of England

Danish developer Ørsted says it intends to press ahead with its plans to develop up to 1.6GW of offshore wind capacity off South Korea after it successfully collected data from four floating lidars.

The offshore wind projects will be located more than 70km from the centres of Incheon City, in shallow waters at the planned project site to allow for cost-effective development.

Once an off-take agreement with a Korean energy utility and final investment decision is made, the projects could be commissioned from 2026, subject to permits.

Matthias Bausenwein, president of Ørsted Asia Pacific, said: “Ørsted's projects in Incheon will support a thriving offshore wind industry in South Korea and contribute to the realization of the government's target of 12GW offshore wind capacity by 2030.

“Building on our experience and unparalleled track-record in offshore wind development world-wide and in Asia Pacific, we are dedicated to engaging in long-term partnerships with the South Korean government and local stakeholders.”

The projects in Incheon could provide clean energy to 1.4 million South Korean households and reduce carbon emissions by almost four million metric tons per year.

This would offer a significant contribution towards the Green New Deal and South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

The flagship projects would bring multi-trillion investments, significant economic activity and jobs to South Korea.

Martin Neubert, executive vice president and CEO of Ørsted Offshore, said: “The prospects of contributing to South Korea's transition to renewable energy is a great inspiration for Ørsted.

“With strong industrial capabilities, significant supply chain potential, and numerous sites with promising offshore wind conditions, South Korea has a fantastic starting point for becoming a leading offshore wind market.”

Ørsted has been working with a number of South Korean companies on offshore wind projects in Asia and Europe and Asia.

These include steelmaker POSCO, tower manufacturer CS Wind, manufacturer LS Cable, industrial conglomerate Hyosung, offshore fabricator Samkang M&T, Hyundai ESI and foundation manufacturer EEW Korea.

The developer also worked with Samkang M&T and Hyundai ESI to complete the fabrication of the first jacket foundations for Ørsted's Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farm in Taiwan.

The developer said that it started early engagement with local communities and the fishing industry so that a local voice was incorporated into project development.

In September, Total and Green Investment Group announced they were set to develop 2.3GW capacity in Korea, with an initial plan for five projects.

A deal included three projects in Ulsan totalling 1.5GW and two in South Jeolla Province for 800MW.

In August, oil engineer Aker Solutions unveiled an offshore wind blueprint that included plans to develop wind farms off South Korea, in the US and Norway.

Equinor said it was testing South Korea for floaters back in July, with the Norway-based oil major confirming it wanted to explore whether building an 800MW floating offshore project off the country's south-east coast was feasible.

And in 2019, EDPR and Aker Solutions announced a plan for a 500MW South Korean floater. The firms bought into a consortium with WindPower Korea to develop a 500MW floating wind farm off Ulsan, South Korea.