Chinese operator CNOOC Ltd is ready to further leverage its marine expertise to increase its activities in offshore wind development to live up its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

The latest action will see the company align with domestic offshore wind specialist China Three Gorges (CTG) to tap its experience in offshore wind project developments.

In a strategic cooperation agreement signed over the weekend, the two companies aim to build on synergies in the international renewable energy business as well as project financing.

The two companies have committed to further cooperation in offshore wind with a focus on building market share alongside growing their businesses related to gas-fired power generation.

A CNOOC Ltd source said that one area of cooperation could be floating wind operations in China, taking advantage of its offshore engineering skills.

CTG has just completed China’s first floating wind turbine as part of its Yangxi West Shapa phase three project offshore Guangdong province. This MySE 5.5 megawatt turbine is installed on a semi-submersible platform in 30 metres of water.

The group installed China’s first 10MW turbine last year and, by the end of 2020, it owned and operated just over 15 gigawatts of power generation capacity derived from renewables, including 7.5GW of onshore wind power, 1.3GW of offshore wind power, 6.5GW of solar power and 220MW of hydropower.

Late last year, CTG initiated talks with French supermajor TotalEnergies with the aim of jointly developing offshore wind projects in China.

CNOOC Ltd, meanwhile, has already rolled out a master plan to expand its clean energy portfolio, with a focus on offshore wind.

With government approval, it is carrying out initial work to build a 1GW wind project offshore Shantou city in southern China’s Guangdong province.

Chief executive Xu Keqiang has said CNOOC Ltd would push forward with offshore wind projects "in a steady and cautious manner", adding that it will increase investment in such schemes if they show potential to generate worthwhile returns.

Last September, the company started operations at its first offshore wind power project in Jiangsu province.

The H2 development has a total power generation capacity of 300MW, with 50 4MW units and 17 6MW units. Of these, 47 units are installed in shallow waters and the remainder in deep-water.

The company has earmarked more than 5% of its annual budget for clean energy projects, equating to between 4.5 billion yuan ($700 million) and 5 billion yuan from this year's capital expenditure budget of between 90 billion and 100 billion yuan.