South Korean Firms Turn to Offshore Wind Power

An increasing number of South Korean companies are looking into the feasibility of generating offshore wind power as a new source of income.

SK E&S Co., a leading South Korean gas provider which recently contracted a 200 megawatts (MW) offshore solar power generation project in the waters near the Saemangeum seawall, is reviewing the idea of launching a 800 MW offshore wind power plant.

SK E&S is not alone. Power plant builder Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. unveiled its ambition last week to boost the annual revenue of its offshore wind power business to more than 1 trillion won (US$860 million) over the next five years.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., POSCO and Doosan Heavy are set to take part in the 200 MW Donghae 1-Floating Offshore Wind Power project that the Korea National Oil Corp. is developing using the Donghae 1 gas field production facilities.

South Korean steelmaker SeAH Steel Corp. is set to participate in the United Kingdom’s state-run offshore wind power project to supply key parts, a first among Korean companies.

Early this month, the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) established its own offshore wind power generation division.

Since its power generation business was spun off into six subsidiaries due to the restructuring of the nation’s power generation industry back in 2001, KEPCO has not been able to directly participate in the domestic renewable energy power generation business.

Instead of direct participation, KEPCO has been engaged in the business by establishing or investing in special purpose companies (SPC).