Hyundai Heavy gets 40MW Korea order

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is to supply turbines to a 40MW project in South Korea, in its largest order yet from its home market.

HHI will start installing its 2MW wind turbines at the Yeognam wind farm in Jeollanam-do province on the country’s southwest tip in July. The project, located in an area with low wind speeds, is expected to be completed in November this year.

It will be operated by a newly established power company, DaeMyoung GEC. HHI will oversee installation and commissioning, and says it is also discussing a long-term maintenance and service agreement.

Korea added 76MW of new wind capacity last year, its best year since 2008. It now has close to 500MW of cumulative installed wind capacity, according to data from the Korea Wind Energy Industry Association (KWEIA).

Vestas was the dominant supplier to the market until 2011 when local firms began taking over. Last year HHI installed 24MW in Korea, supplying two projects in Gangwon-do province in the north-east. Doosan, Hyosung, STX, Hanjin, Unison and Mitsubishi also shipped turbines to wind farms in South Korea during 2012.

HHI has annual turbine production capacity of 600MW, well beyond the current needs of its home market.

It has tried to expand sales in other markets, winning an 8MW order for a wind farm in an undisclosed location in Europe and another 8MW order in the US. It also won a 50MW order in Pakistan in 2011, but it is not clear if the project has been installed.

In 2011, it entered into a joint venture with Chinese power company Datang, opening a turbine factory in Weihai, Shandong province towards the end of the year, but the venture is said to be struggling.

It is now focusing on the offshore wind market, and plans to install a prototype of its 5.5MW turbine currently under development off the coast of Jeju island by the end of this year. It is aiming to launch the turbine, containing a permanent-magnet generator, on the market in 2014.

South Korea’s government is pushing offshore wind as a key plank in its ‘green growth’ strategy. It is expected to release a mid- and long-term offshore wind power development roadmap in the first half of this year.

It is already backing a private-public partnership to install 100MW of offshore turbines off the west coast by 2013, 900MW by 2016 and 1.5GW by 2019. In addition, local governments are promoting another 6GW in offshore wind farm projects, according to a report by the Korea Times last year.

Other Korean shipbuilders including Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering also have ambitious plans for the offshore wind sector.