Ocean Winds, Aker Offshore Wind Secure 1.2 GW Floating Capacity in South Korea

Korea Floating Wind (KF Wind), a joint venture between Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind, has secured an Electric Business License (EBL) from South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea for further 450 MW of floating wind capacity in the country.

KF Wind

This is the second EBL KF Wind obtained for its 1.2 GW floating wind project offshore Ulsan, after being granted the same licence for the first 870 MW in January. According to Philippe Kavafyan, Chief Executive Officer of Aker Offshore Wind, the joint venture is now on track to build the world’s first industrial-scale floating offshore wind farms in Ulsan by 2028.

With the previously secured 870 MW, KF Wind’s floating wind project now holds a 1.32 GW EBL capacity, covering the 1.2 GW net capacity target (based on grid limits), which can power the equivalent of over 1.3 million households, the joint venture said in a press release on 3 March.

“This confirms a strong vote of confidence from the South Korean government and sustains the pace for South Korea to be the leading market for GW-scale, floating offshore wind power generation”, Philippe Kavafyan said.

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KF Wind said it had already commenced most of the field studies and was continuing its engagement with key local users of the ocean to secure the remaining permits, which are are expected to be approved during 2023, with the objective of reaching financial close in 2024.

The EBL is a mandatory requirement to generate and supply electricity in South Korea and grants KF Wind exclusive development rights to realise the project.

“This second EBL secures us continued exclusive development rights in the East Blue Power area, which KF Wind is developing in collaboration with our partner Kumyang Green Power, an Ulsan-based electrical engineering company and renewable energy developer”, said Guzman Figar, Project Director of KF Wind. 

Together with contributing toward the national energy transition, the 1.2 GW floating wind project will also boost the economic development of the Ulsan region, according to Grzegorz Gorski, Chief Operating Officer of Ocean Winds, who said KF Wind could contribute up to 77 per cent of content manufactured in Korea, of which around 63 per cent would be fabricated in the Ulsan area.

This would result in the creation of thousands of jobs and the reindustrialisation of the region, according to Grzegorz Gorski.

EDP Renewables, which established Ocean Winds together with Engie, and Aker Solutions invested in the development company Korea Floating Wind Power (KF Wind) back in 2019, when they joined the founding shareholder WindPower Korea. Now, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind hold 66.7 per cent and 33.3 per cent of the company, respectively.

At the beginning of that year, KF Wind signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Ulsan to cooperate on the development of floating wind projects and support the industrial development of the Ulsan region to serve as a manufacturing hub for domestic and export offshore wind markets.

KF Wind has secured three potential wind sites off the City of Ulsan, which could potentially accommodate floating wind farms with a combined capacity of up to 1.5 GW.

The joint venture plans to utilise the WindFloat floating wind foundations, developed by Principle Power, in which Aker Offshore Wind holds a 47 per cent stake, with other shareholders 47% ownership stake of Principle Power, with other shareholders being EDPR, EDP Ventures, and Tokyo Gas.

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