Oil and gas major Shell has joined a team of developers working on a 1.4GW floating offshore wind farm off South Korea.
It will take an 80% stake in a joint venture developing the 1.4GW MunmuBaram project off the city of Ulsan in the south-east of the country.
CoensHexicon – a joint venture between South Korean oil and gas services company Coens (51%) and Swedish floating wind specialist Hexicon (49%) – will hold the 20% remainder.
The developers are currently assessing the feasibility of the project and plan to apply for an electricity business license – which would grant them exclusive rights to build the project – in September 2021.
CoensHexicon began collecting a range of measurements at the site in August 2020, recently carried out a geophysical survey and is now carrying out a geotechnical survey.
MunmuBaram would be located 65-80km from the city of Ulsan in a 240km2 site with water depths ranging between 120 and 160 metres. Fixed-bottom foundations typically tend to become economically unviable in water depths greater than 60 metres – creating the need for floating platforms to be used instead.
Swedish firm Hexicon has developed a semi-submersible platform that typically features two turbines installed on a single floating platform tethered to the seabed by mooring lines.
The developers plan to build MunmuBaram in phases.
They expect the project to produce up to 4.65TWh of clean energy per year.
Joe Nai, Shell’s general manager for offshore wind in Asia, said: “Korea’s capabilities in the fabrication of offshore facilities and shipbuilding could play a pivotal role in the development and fabrication of floating offshore wind foundations, not only for Korea, but also for the region and beyond.”