Equinor will work with South Korean state-owned oil group KNOC in a bid to build commercial floating wind projects off the country’s coast.

The Norwegian oil and gas company – the global pacesetter in floating wind technology – signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with KNOC to explore opportunities in the sector.

Equinor already has the world’s first utility-scale floating wind project, the 30MW Hywind Scotland, up and running in northern Europe.

KNOC has created a new unit devoted to floating wind as it prepares to help the South Korean state meet a goal for 49GW of new renewables capacity by 2030, said a joint statement. The Korean oil group plans to advance a 200MW floating project at its Donghae platform off Ulsan City, it added.

Recharge revealed exclusively in January how Ulsan and four industrial groups – including Equinor’s fellow oil giant Shell – had signed an MoU over a potential 1GW development.

Jae-Heon Shim, senior vice president at KNOC, said: “Executing a MoU with Equinor will become a critical opportunity that will advance to practical steps of floating offshore wind in Korea. We plan to actively focus on progress and de-risking studies including feasibility studies in collaboration with Equinor.”

Deep waters off South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan are all seen as promising opportunities for floating wind, which allows the sector to tap resources unavailable through conventional fixed foundations.