189-meter Wind Tower, off to the Norwegian North Sea

One of the Hywind Tampen turbines departing from Gulen (Photo: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor ASA)

  • Visiting assembly base for Hywind Tampen in Gulen
  • Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm can reduce carbon emissions by 200,000 tons per year

Employees of Equinor Korea visited the Wergeland wind turbine assembly base in Gulen, Norway where the construction of Hywind Tampen turbines takes place. Equinor Korea is currently promoting the development of several floating offshore wind farms in Korea.

On an early morning in early June, in Gulen, an hour’s drive north of Bergen in western Norway, a strong wind from the Norwegian North Sea blows into the Wergeland base. This is the Hywind Tampen wind turbine assembly base. Several assembled wind turbines can be seen in the Fens fjord, ready to leave for Hywind Tampen, the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm.

Do-Hyun Park, Executive Vice President of Equinor  Korea, who visited the assembly base for Hywind Tampen, said, ” Watching the wind turbine leave for Hywind Tampen, I could not help but get excited of the future of Korea and Ulsan that offshore wind will bring,” he said.

On shore, huge wind turbine components can be seen in the expansive Gulen assembly yard. The 81.5-metre-long wind turbine blades visible in front of the crane are magnificent enough to make the crane – the world’s largest moveable crane – seem so small.

Blades waiting for assembly (Photo: Jaeseok Shin/Equinor Korea)

Passing the place where 15 blades wait for assembly, the wind towers floating in the sea right in front of the base captures the attention. Jacques Etienne Michel, CEO of Equinor Korea explained “When the nacelle (turbine housing) is mounted on the wind tower with the blades installed, the height of the wind tower will reach a maximum of 189 meters from top to bottom.” The huge installation on the water does not rest on the sea floor though; it’s floating. Approximately a third of the total height of 189 meters will therefore be below surface – making sure the wind turbines are stable even in the harsh North Sea weather.

This morning, one of the wind turbines are being prepared to depart from Gulen to the Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind farm. Three AHTS towing ships line up the wind turbine, preparing to set sail for a straight-line distance of 140 km, corresponding to the distance between Seoul and Daejeon.

Once it arrives at its final destination 140km from shore, it will be hooked up and start producing power later this year. The full wind park, consisting of 11 floating turbines, will supply power to oil and gas platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B, and C, operated by Equinor in the North Sea. These wind farms will cover 35% of the electricity required for these platforms and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 200,000 tons per year. This is equivalent to the amount of carbon emitted by 100,000 private cars. The Hywind Tampen project utilizes various supply chains such as wind turbines, substructures, various parts, power grids, transportation, facility operation and maintenance etc. which many companies in each field can provide. This has led to the project being evaluated highly for providing job creation and economic effects on related industries – more than 50% of the supplier costs on Hywind Tampen is spent on local suppliers

Jacques Etienne Michel cited the excellence of supply chain companies as the main reason for Hywind Tampen’s successful start, stepping up to support the project to show how competitive they are. “This led to the companies also developing new capabilities potentially making them more competitive on future offshore wind projects,” he added.

 Equinor reaffirms the importance of cooperating with supply chain companies that it has learned from 50 years of offshore energy development around the world. The importance of an excellent supply chain was also emphasized at the Firefly/Bandibuli Floating Offshore Wind Farm Supply Day 2022 held in Ulsan on June 9th. “Ulsan has numerous supply chain companies with world-class technology in the shipbuilding and offshore fields. Ulsan’s floating offshore farm project will definitely help the city increase industrial competitiveness in the offshore wind business,” said Do-Hyun Park with excitement.

Equinor is currently working to develop a floating offshore wind farm in Ulsan, South Korea. The project Firefly/Bandibuli will install capacity of 800 MW that will be promoted in the distant sea 70km off the coast of Ulsan, while Donghae1 will install a 200 MW that will be promoted near Donghae Gas Field in Ulsan. Last year, the two projects have obtained an Electric Business License (EBL) and Firefly/Bandibuli is currently conducting an environmental and social impact assessment. Ulsan fishermen are also contributing to the safety of the marine survey boats.

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