Norway's Equinor plans to make a final investment decision on what would be its first offshore wind farm in South Korea as early as 2024, and is now considering a third, larger project in the country, the head of its local unit said.
"We are looking to build a portfolio of four to six gigawatts (GW) in Korea and that's going to support Equinor's ambition ... in energy transition," Jacques-Etienne Michel, president of Equinor South Korea, told Reuters on the sidelines of the 2022 World Gas Conference in Daegu, South Korea.
The first project, known as 'Firefly', is undergoing environmental impact assessment and a final investment decision will be made in 2024 or 2025, Michel said. Firefly is a planned semi-submersible wind farm spanning 150 square kilometres (58 sq. miles) off the coast of the city of Ulsan.
The 800 megawatt (MW) project, expected to cost several billion dollars and finish commissioning in 2028 or 2029, is wholly owned by Equinor but the company is looking for partners, he said.
Equinor is also in talks with Korean firms to produce wind turbines and cables from scratch for the project.
"It's a chance for Korea to be a prime mover and to build a new industry," Michel said.
Equinor has a second, 200 MW wind farm project offshore Ulsan, in partnership with state-run Korea National Oil Corp and local power generator Korea East-West Power. The project was awarded a licence to generate electricity in November.
The company is also exploring a third project, a 1.5 GW wind farm project in the southwest region of South Korea, Michel said.
Besides South Korea, Equinor is also looking into similar wind farm projects in Japan and in Vietnam, he said.
(Reporting by Florence Tan and Joyce Lee; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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