Norwegian major Equinor has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korean East-West Power (EWP) to co-operate on offshore wind projects generating 3 gigawatts of electricity off South Korea.

The South Korean Government's ambition is to grow renewables by about 60 gigawatts by 2034, of which 12 GW is targeted for offshore wind by 2030. EWP is one of South Korea’s state-owned power generation companies.

Pal Eitrheim, executive vice president in renewables in Equinor, said the company wants to develop the first commercial floating offshore wind farm in South Korea.

"We see a big potential to leverage our experience in building a new industry together with Korea’s world-class supply chain," he said.

Given Korea's coastal water depths, floating solutions are required to realise the host government's renewables aims.

Equinor on Wednesday said it will bring its decades of floating wind experience and offshore technology to the partnership.

However, the Norwegian company will not use its Hywind floating wind concept, which is installed offshore Scotland and will be used at the oilfields at the Tampen area in the Norwegian sea.

Equinor has received significant subsidies for the Hywind projects from Scotland and Norway. The Hywind Tampen project received nearly Nkr 3 billion ($343 million) in subsidies from Norway alone.

An Equinor spokesman stressed that the company has not scrapped the Hywind concept.

"We still see possibilities for the Hywind concept. We will choose the concept best suited to each project," he told Upstream.

He would not comment on whether Equinor has any specific projects in mind for renewed application of the Hywind concept.

Earlier this month, Equinor announced it had developed a new floating wind concept, the Wind Semi, which has several features making it particularly suited for harsh waters.

Technology is being developed specifically for South Korean waters and local conditions, Equinor said.

The company claims the Wind Semi offers increased dependability, a simpler, more robust design and flexibility towards the supply chain, helping to facilitate industrialisation.

The new design potentially offers advantages over the complex Spar based Hywind concept, as the latter needs to be built at a facility with a deep-water quay and has a more complex automated ballast system.