Equinor and Technip Energies have struck a deal to develop steel semi-submersible hulls for floating wind facilities in an effort to drive down costs, accelerate technology development, and push for local fabrication opportunities.
From the early design phases of floating wind farms, the players aim to address the entire supply chain of floating offshore wind, with a focus on industrialisation of the technology.
“We see longer-term collaboration from an early phase as the next step within floating offshore wind development. This will also enable us to identify and create opportunities for the local supply chain in the markets where we are present”, said Mette Ottoy, chief procurement officer at Equinor.
As renewable energy is growing amid a shareholder push for sustainability, offshore wind presents the opportunity for oil and gas companies to offer their expertise in the energy transition.
Floating offshore wind, specifically, could make up about 80% of offshore wind resources, given the high level of wind opportunities in deep waters, the companies said.
Equinor has been in the vanguard of the floating wind sector, with its Hywind Tampen project set to demonstrate the technology in Norway.
The company claims it has reduced the cost per megawatt of floating wind by 70% through its Hywind Scotland project and another 40% through Hywind Tampen, but says there is "still a way to go" until floating wind is a commercial option.
“We believe partnering is an essential step to reach net-zero. We are proud to enter this strategic partnership with Equinor, a long-lasting client with which we share a common vision and commitment: to create a low-carbon future,” said Laure Mandrou, senior vice president of carbon-free solutions at Technip Energies.
“This agreement extends our recent collaboration in the floating offshore wind field, creating unique synergies by combining Technip Energies’ and Equinor’s respective experiences in the development of core technologies and the delivery of groundbreaking projects,” he added.
Beate Myking, who leads Equinor's renewables solutions business, said: “We are excited about our collaboration with Technip Energies, which allows us to further leverage and develop our floating toolbox to customise locally adapted industrial solutions for future floating offshore wind projects.”
“We have already started to see early signs of value creation from this way of working in our early-phase floating wind projects in southern Brittany in France and Firefly in South Korea,” said Myking.
Equinor claims to be "technology agnostic", arguing that the floating concept of choice for a given market will differ according to geographies.
The deal was sealed at the Seanergy conference in Normandy, France.