South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries is targeting the renewable energy sector with the announcement of a new floating offshore wind platform.
Samsung confirmed it had received approval in principle from Norwegian classification society DNV for its Tri-Star Float platform, which can host a 9.5-megawatt wind turbine.
The platform consists of a steel frame structure supporting the wind turbine, with Samsung claiming its compact design will help shorten the construction period from design to installation.
Samsung also stated it had analysed 40 years worth of data from South Korea’s East Sea — including wind strength, tide and water depth — to ensure the platform was designed to operate safely in “extreme” marine environments.
The company started development of the offshore wind floater in October last year and successfully completed a floating water tank model test at the Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering (KRISO) in March.
“The offshore floater will enable us to make forays into the renewable energy sector using our capacity to build large-scale offshore plants,” vice president of Samsung’s offshore business division, Wang K Lee, said.
“We hope our development is aligned with the government’s Green New Deal Policy.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in launched the 43 trillion won ($37.4 billion) Green New Deal last year, which included a focus on offshore wind and setting an ambitious target of reaching 12 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
Helping reach that goal will be the government-led Donghae-1 wind farm complex, off the coast of Ulsan, that will be built out in phases with the aim of reaching 6GW of capacity by 2030.
Samsung confirmed it would initially target deployment of its new platform at Donghae-1, which involves industry heavyweights such as state-run Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), Shell, Equinor, Kepco and GIG-TotalEnergies — a 50:50 joint venture between French giant TotalEnergies and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.
KNOC confirmed earlier this year it had wrapped up a feasibility study for a 200-megawatt project near its Donghae-1 gas field, which is nearing the end of its economic life.
The feasibility study included utilising the existing Donghae-1 platform to act as the wind farm’s substation.