Alstom Wind wins first Korea order

France’s Alstom has bagged its first wind-turbine order in South Korea, representing an important toehold in what is expected to be a fast-growing market in the coming years.

The onshore order – for 10 of Alstom’s ECO110 turbines, rated at 3MW each – comes from a unit of the GS Group, a Korean conglomerate, whose Power & Services unit is a significant independent power producer in the country.

The 30MW Gimnyeong wind farm will be built on Jeju Island, which lies in the Korea Strait, and is slated for full operation by the end of the year.

Alstom will supply the turbines and “supervise” installation and commissioning.

The deal is “significant” for Alstom, says Yves Rannou, senior vice president for wind, given the huge growth in Korea’s wind market that is expected over the next decade.

Densely populated Korea added less than 80MW of wind last year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. But with the country reliant on imports for 96% of its energy supplies, the government is ramping up its ambitions for renewables.

Last autumn Korea proposed a 12GW wind target for 2030 – up from the 561MW in place at the end of 2013. While the target has not yet been put into law, doing so would necessitate annual additions of more than 700MW, making South Korea a global top 10 wind market.

Wind is an increasingly important driver of growth within Alstom’s diversified energy business.

Having recently installed its first Haliade 6MW-150 offshore turbine in the Belgian North Sea, Alstom last month scored a coup by winning a five-turbine order for Deepwater Wind’s Block Island project off the US state of Rhode Island.