Doosan Heavy Industries will link with compatriot infrastructure giant SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C) to develop and equip floating wind projects, in another move by South Korea’s industrial heavyweights to grab a share of what’s set to be a huge build-out off its coasts. SK E&C will develop projects, including obtaining licences, and Doosan Heavy “manufacture key equipment” for the wind farms under the joint push, described as a “technical cooperation agreement”.
For Doosan Heavy the announcement marks a big statement of ambition in floating wind by the power systems giant, which is currently undergoing a major corporate restructuring that will see it pivot to renewables as part of a bail-out by the South Korean government. Doosan Heavy is working on an 8MW turbine and said it would invest in R&D and production facilities to support growth of its floating wind business.
Inwon Park, CEO of Doosan Heavy’s Plant EPC business group, said: “Given the rising interest in floating offshore wind farms, the signing of this agreement will open up more business opportunities for us in the market. We will endeavor to successfully pursue the floating offshore wind power business, including projects in the Ulsan and Southeast region of Korea, where we expect to see phased growth starting in 2023.”
For Doosan Heavy, attempts to carve out a significant position in offshore wind mark a return to an industry it walked away from in 2012, citing a lack of confidence that the sector would take off. At that stage it was talking about launching a 6MW turbine by 2015 and building a turbine factory in Scotland.
Doosan and SK E&C – the latter a global player in power plants and civil engineering construction – are not the only South Korean big-hitters to target floating wind, backed by the determination of the country’s government to secure a role for domestic players.
South Korea is expected in the second half of the decade to deploy major floating projects as part of the country’s plan to install 12GW of offshore wind by 2030. Floating is seen as big opportunity for a nation where the best winds are in deep waters and fixed projects nearer to shore have met with fierce opposition. The world’s biggest portfolio of floating wind so far was unveiled by Total and Macquarie when they linked to develop 2GW off the nation’s coasts.