Shell & CoensHexicon to Build 1.4 GW Floating Wind Farm in South Korea

Shell Overseas Investment BV, a unit of Dutch oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell, and CoensHexicon have established a joint venture to fund, develop, and operate MunmuBaram, a 1.4 GW floating offshore wind farm for South Korea. MunmuBaram is expected to power over 1 million homes once it begins operating.

The two companies announced their collaboration two years ago and have now set up a firm called MunmuBaram Co Ltd exclusively for the project. Shell Overseas Investment holds an 80% stake in the JV, while CoensHexicon accounts for 20%. CoensHexicon is also a partnership between Hexicon AB, a Swedish engineering company, and Coens Co Ltd., a Korean service provider.

The floating offshore wind farm will be located off the southeast Korean coast, between 40 and 50 miles (65 and 80 km) from the city of Ulsan. It will cover an area of approximately 93 square miles (240 square km).

Ulsan is the industrial powerhouse of South Korea. It is said to have the world’s largest automobile assembly plant, the world’s largest shipyard and the world’s third largest oil refinery. Initial project development started in early 2019 and was led by CoensHexicon.

The $4.9 billion project is currently at a feasibility assessment stage and is expected to be developed in phases. Over the past year, the developers have been collecting various measurements, including critical offshore wind data at the project location, with which they intend to apply for an Electricity Business License (EBL) this month. A final investment decision is expected in the mid-2020s.

South Korea aims to increase domestic renewable energy generation to 20% of the energy mix by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Korea’s capabilities in the fabrication of offshore facilities and shipbuilding could play a pivotal role in the development and fabrication of floating offshore wind foundations not only for Korea but also for the region and beyond,” commented Joe Nai, Shell’s General Manager, Offshore Wind Asia.

Steve Seo, CEO of CoensHexcion, noted that the company is also developing new areas in South Korea in addition to the current project.

Henrik Baltscheffsky, CEO of Hexicon AB and Director of CoensHexicon Co., Ltd, said: “This is the start of our commercial journey in South Korea and similar places around the globe. We have formed a project company in Busan, TwinWind Development Co. Ltd, obtained an adequate water area offshore Ulsan City and are developing the first commercial floating wind farm.”

“Our collaboration with Shell will contribute a wealth of skills and expertise when it comes to developing and operating a large floating wind farm. This includes serial manufacturing in South Korea of the patented multi-turbine foundation design developed by Hexicon in Sweden.”

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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