Supply chain bottlenecks that compounded steel quality issues forced Equinor to postpone the completion of its pioneering 88MW Hywind Tampen floating wind farm to the spring of next year.

The Norwegian oil & gas major said four of the project's 11 turbine tower sections are now only expected to be delivered in September 2022, which is too late for the installation weather window for this year.

Siemens Gamesa is the supplier of the project’s towers, nacelles and blades, which are all subject to rigid quality control measures, Equinor said. Deviations in steel quality in four tower sections were found and corrective actions were immediately implemented, but the challenging market situation for steel supplies has subsequently delayed delivery, added the developer.

“Seven turbines have been assembled and four are now installed on the field,” project director Olav-Bernt Haga said.

“The plan is to start production during the year and supply electricity first to Gullfaks, then to the Snorre [oil & gas] field.”

Once the floating wind array is completed, it will be world’s first to supply power to oil & gas platforms, providing just over a third of the electricity demand at Gullfaks and Snorre.

The first seven turbines to be connected this year will already have a total capacity of about 60MW, making Hywind Tampen the world’s largest floating wind farm.

Alongside Equinor, Petoro, OMV, Vår Energi, Wintershall Dea and INPEX Idemitsu Norge are partners in Hywind Tampen, which is being built about 140km off the Norwegian coast at water depths from 260 to 300 metres.

The project is scheduled to start producing first power in the third quarter of this year.