China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is re-entering the offshore wind market after closing its renewable energy unit five years ago.
Reports in the Chinese press said the company was participating in a project in Jiangsu province, applying its expertise from the offshore oil and gas market. The company did not provide details of the exact location or size of the project.
CNOOC first entered the offshore wind business in 2006 but ceased work in renewables which at the time included commitments to wind, solar and biomass projects – in 2014.
The company’s return to the offshore wind sector comes as the Chinese Government boosts efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels such as coal.
Speaking at an event at which he unveiled the company’s 2019 business plan, CNOOC chief executive Yuan Guangyu said the offshore wind sector “aligns with the company’s overall business, given its resources in offshore engineering and experience in offshore operations.”
A presentation issued at the time said CNOOC planned to steadily increase oil and gas reserves and production levels but “pursue a green, low-carbon and environment-friendly development mode.”
“In line with the low-carbon development trend in global energy industry, we will actively explore the offshore wind power industry, and build competitiveness in the low carbon sector,” said the presentation. It also said that CNOOC saw “great market potential and broad future prospects” in offshore wind. The presentation confirmed that the company “entered into an offshore wind power project in Jiangsu Province in January 2019.”
Earlier this month, the authorities in Jiangsu province approved 24 offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of 6.7 GW.
The Xinhua news agency said sources at Jiangsu Electric Power Co had confirmed the project approvals, which highlights the fast-growing nature of the offshore wind market in the country.
As highlighted here, recent analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that China is assuming the mantle of the world’s largest offshore wind market.
The new projects, which will require investment of approximately US$18Bn, are part of Jiangsu province’s 10-GW offshore wind plan known as ‘Three Gorges on Sea.’ Xinhua said all the projects had been given the green light and are due to be completed by the end of 2020.
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