“Floating offshore wind power is a core of carbon-neutrality. We will increase synergy by linking with the industry of Ulsan”
Interview – Guzman Figar, Project Director of Korea Floating Wind
“In the era of the global climate change, carbon neutrality and transition to eco-friendly energy are inevitable in the global market. This is why floating offshore wind power generation is attracting attention.”
In an interview with the Korea Economic Daily on the 23rd, Guzman Figar, project director of Korea Floating Wind Power (KF Wind) (pictured), said, “I hope the continuous and active policy support and interest in the offshore wind power project, which is a core carbon-neutral strategy to the new government, Seok-Yeol Yoon.” he said.
Korea Floating Wind is a joint venture established by two leading offshore wind energy companies, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind.
▷KF Wind recently obtained 1.2GW Electrical Business License (EBL) from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea.
“In January and February of this year, KF Wind obtained two EBLs, 870MW and 450MW respectively, from the Electricity Commission under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the republic of Korea. This is the power generation capacity that can supply power to 1.3 million households in Ulsan, Busan, and neighboring cities. This EBL means that KF Wind can start making substantial investments in the creation of quality jobs as well as revitalizing the local economy by starting the project to build a regional power supply network in Korea.”
▷Why are you paying attention to the east coast of Ulsan?
“As a floating offshore wind farm has a floating base, it is not restricted by water depth like a bottom-fixed structure, and can be installed at any depth. Ulsan offshore has a wide continental shelf with a depth of 100 to 200 m, which is an ideal condition for the construction of large-scale offshore wind farms. Besides, Ulsan has large power plants such as nuclear power plants and thermal power, which means the related infrastructure to build floating offshore substations is in place to deliver electricity generated off the coast of Ulsan to each home and industrial complex, Moreover, Ulsan has optimal conditions for connecting offshore wind power supply chains, ports, and grids (wind turbines and offshore substations, and undersea cables between land systems). In addition, it is free from location restrictions, so it is evaluated that it could be easier to secure acceptability of residents since it is far from the mainland.”
▷ What is the technology that differentiates KF Wind from other developers?
“Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind, the holding companies of Korean floating wind, have the world’s first semi-submersible floating offshore wind power basic design technology and operational know-how. Currently, we have experiences of operating three floating offshore wind farms in Europe. The first floating offshore wind unit launched was WindFloat 1, a semi-submersible floating offshore wind power plant developed in Portugal in 2011. Then there is WindFloat Atlantic, which proved the commercialization and profitability of floating offshore wind technology through project financing for the first time in the world in 2019. The complex operates a 25 MW floating offshore wind farm with three semi-submersible structures and three 8.4 MW turbines at a depth of 100 m, about 20 km off the coast of Viana de Castelo, Portugal. Lastly, the Leucate project, which is developed in the one of the windiest regions in France, has succeeded in designing to overcome the extreme offshore environment and enable stable wind power generation. ”
▷ There is also a negative view that the offshore wind power business will not contribute much to the Korean economy.
“KF Wind conducted a Socio-Economic Impact study research with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) last year. According to the report, it is analyzed that it will contribute significantly to the overall industry related to the creation of large-scale jobs not only in the Ulsan region but also at the national level, as well as the supply of offshore wind power equipment and floating foundations. Above all, by 2027, the use of related supply chains and local content (domestic parts) will increase in Ulsan and surrounding areas, and Korean companies will manufacture floating foundations and wind turbines to preoccupy the global market. An increase in the tax revenue of local governments can also be expected. In addition, KF Wind prioritizes the growth of the local economy and mutual growth with local residents through localization from the initial stage of business implementation. We will actively take the lead in revitalizing local industries, creating jobs, establishing a local supply chain and coexisting with the local community through business technology partnerships.”