The country is targeting 12+ GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, which includes 6 GW of floating wind in the form of the first part of the Ulsan GW-scale floating wind cluster in the southeast of the country. South Korea is also planning a 3 GW extension to Ulsan after 2030, bringing the capacity of the Ulsan complex alone to more than 9 GW. In 4C Offshore´s recent analysis, South Korea was ranked as the third most interesting market in the world for floating offshore wind.
-It is Korea’s potential that stands out, comments Hans A. Hansen, head of business development at Fred. Olsen Windcarrier and new working group leader for Korea in NOW. Together with nine other companies, Hansen and Caroline Whittle from Norwegian Offshore Wind, have been on a Team Norway delegation visiting Korea this week as part of Innovation Norway’s Global Growth programme.
-Korea already has a keen and capable supply chain, with strong capabilities in foundation manufacturing for fixed-bottom offshore wind, shipbuilding and steel and established partnerships for turbine manufacturing. For foundations, Korea is already an important regional supplier and other companies are already globally established, says Hansen.
He points out that Norway and Korea have historically enjoyed strong business relations, primarily through the maritime industry.
-But there is a vast area of expertise each country can offer each other, and it is here where opportunities and synergies can be realised, says Hansen who is looking forward to taking on the role.
Collaborating to get contracts
The new working group aims to get members of Norwegian Offshore Wind connected to the specific projects that are already in the pipeline.
-We are tailor making our activities based on the industry needs, and we believe in collaboration among our members and with companies and organisations who already have their feet in the market, says Caroline Whittle, who is in charge of South Korea in Norwegian Offshore Wind.
Hansen and Fred. Olsen Windcarrier have been working in the region for a few years, following the development of offshore wind in Korea closesly.
-I have been fortunate enough to make many friends and established relationships with Korean companies. What is particularly impressive is the way that the large industrial groups have involved themselves in renewable energy with both technology, fabrication and as developers. I am certain that they will evolve to important global players, says Hansen, and adds:
-We are already seeing partnerships being established, but there are many more opportunities and I see this working group as an important tool to achieving these.
Ports a key challenge
As with many other markets, ports are proving to be a key challenge for South Korea. To counter this, the country has extensive port development plans with strong investment backing in place to support the massive build out for the 6 GW Ulsan complex in the southeast, its 3 GW extension post-2030, and the 8.2 GW fixed-bottom Sinan (Shinan) complex in the southwest.