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Offshore wind firm partners with South Korean shipyard

by Mark Cantrell
Offshore wind firm partners with South Korean shipyard

Principle Power has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a South Korean shipyard for the manufacture of floating wind farm foundations.

The global company, which has bases in the USA, France, Portugal, the UK, and Japan, has signed the non-exclusive agreement with HSG Sungdong to cooperate on engineering developments for mass production and assembly of its WindFloat technologies.

The agreement is said to further the development of a sustainable domestic supply chain in South Korea and supports the country’s ambition to achieve 14.3 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Lúcio Rodrigues, head of supply chain and procurement for Principle Power, said: “Principle Power collaborates with partners globally to help them prepare for the serial manufacturing and delivery of WindFloat foundations.

“Through this agreement, we will provide HSG Sungdong with high-quality inputs on WindFloat design, specifications, and lessons learned to support their efforts to optimise their facilities and processes for the fabrication and assembly of floating wind foundations cost-effectively and at scale.

“With Principle Power’s extensive global track-record and operating experience in floating wind, and HSG Sungdong’s formidable manufacturing capabilities, we are working together to build optimised delivery scenarios for floating wind projects in Korea and export markets that use local expertise and existing shipyard capabilities.

“Our goal is to foster a robust and sustainable supply chain ecosystem through early engagement with select suppliers to build readiness for the timely and effective delivery of floating wind projects. These engagements are an extremely important part of building a new industry the right way, providing customers and government with confidence about deliverability.”

Jinsang Lee, chief executive for HSG Sungdong, added: “This MoU between HSG Sungdong and Principle Power targets the world’s first mass-production of floating offshore wind substructure by combining the strengths of both companies.

“The goal of the two companies is to establish a supply system ready to deliver industrial scale floating offshore wind projects by combining the technological experiences of 75MW floating offshore wind farm that Principle Power has already implemented globally and HSG Sungdong’s optimized manufacturing facilities (substructure fabrication, marshalling yard, integration) with excellent manufacturing technology.

“This collaboration is expected to create an optimal process to stably mass supply the most leading floating offshore wind structures with both quality and economic feasibility to the schedule that customers want. It is also to create social values in line with the transition to low-carbon and green economies and deliver the highest quality floating substructures to customers to play their own role in developing eco-friendly solutions for our future industries.”

To achieve its 14.3 GW offshore wind goal, the South Korean government has implemented an annual auction system offering fixed-price contracts for offshore wind projects that includes REC multiplier mechanism designed to help launch a domestic floating offshore wind industry.

Government auctions are scheduled for Q3 2024 for the first floating projects in Korea. Developers and the supply chain are committed to establishing floating offshore wind capacity provided that off-take award conditions are supported by realistic price levels and national policies and regulations allow projects to progress on a predictable schedule.

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