MunmuBaram Offshore Wind Farm project is located off the southeast coast of South Korea. (Credit: Carl Raw/Unsplash)
Fugro received the contract to provide geophysical and geotechnical investigations across the development site. (Credit: MunmuBaram Co., Ltd)
Vestas was selected as the preferred turbine supplier for the wind farm. (Credit: MunmuBaram Co., Ltd)

MunmuBaram is a planned floating offshore wind farm project that will be located off the southeast coast of South Korea.

Shell Overseas Investments and CoensHexicon established a namesake joint venture (JV) in September 2021 to develop and operate the 1.3GW floating offshore wind farm.

Shell owns 80% stake in the JV, while CoensHexicon holds the remaining 20% interest.

The project will entail an investment of around $4.9bn. The development is being privately funded through the JV.

The process of collecting critical offshore wind data and other measurements began in August 2020. Geophysical and geotechnical surveys were conducted to procure data necessary for project execution strategy and front-end engineering design.

In May 2022, MunmuBaram commenced Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the offshore wind project.

The final investment decision (FID) is expected in 2025 and the targeted year of commencement of commercial operations is 2027.

The proposed project will also contribute to South Korea’s ‘Renewable Energy 3020 Plan’, which aims to boost domestic renewable energy generation to 20% of the energy mix by 2030 and help the country become carbon neutral by 2050.

Location and site details

The MunmuBaram Floating Offshore Wind Farm Project will be located between 65km and 80km off the southeast coast from Ulsan city, South Korea.

The project site covers an area of approximately 240km2. Water depths in the area range between 120m and 160m, making the site suitable for floating foundations.

Project details

The MunmuBaram Project will feature floating wind turbine generators (WTGs). The floating structures do not have fixed foundations, and enable development in deeper offshore areas with higher wind potentiality.

The wind farm will be equipped with 84 units of V236 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 15MW.

The wind turbines will be connected via subsea cables to an offshore substation, which will transport the generated electricity onshore using export cable. The export cable will connect to the transition pit and to the onshore substation, which will then feed the power to the national grid substation.

The offshore works will include installation of WTGs; laying floating, mooring, inter array cables as well as export cables; and delivering an offshore substation.

On the other hand, the scope of onshore works will include onshore transmission line, landfall, onshore substation, grid connections, and related infrastructure.

MunmuBaram project will be developed in phases and, once complete, will produce up to 4.65-terawatt hour (twh) of renewable electricity annually.

The project is expected to create 35,000 jobs, and will eventually enable renewable power supplies to 960,000 homes in South Korea. This will help in removing 2.33 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere.

Contracts involved and agreements

On 29 November 2022, MunmuBaram selected Vestas as the preferred turbine supplier for the wind farm.

Additionally, Vestas will also provide maintenance and service for the wind farm for 20 years after the wind turbines are installed.

Fugro received the contract to provide geophysical and geotechnical investigations across the development site and the connecting export cable route. The company completed site investigation with UST21 of South Korea.

MunmuBaram has a grid connection agreement with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

In February 2022, MunmuBaram signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ulsan City, Ulsan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (UCCI), Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and Ulsan Floating Offshore Wind Farm Supply Chain (UFOS) regarding training personnel in floating offshore wind technologies.

In March 2022, MunmuBaram’s majority shareholder Shell signed a MoU with Korea Southern Power (KOSPO) to cooperate in Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) offtake, offshore wind operation and maintenance and interchange of technologies.

EBLs for the offshore wind project

On 29 November 2021, MunmuBaram received an Electricity Business License (EBL) from South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

The EBL gave the JV exclusive development rights to advance 420MW of wind energy, around on-third of the total planned capacity.

On 2 March 2022, MunmuBaram received two additional EBLs to fully develop the 1.3GW project.