Korean steelmakers tap the offshore wind energy industry for development


To combat weak domestic and international demand, South Korean steel producers are entering the offshore wind power market by increasing the supply of steel pipe.

Several industry sources claimed on Sunday that the increased demand for offshore wind energy, which increases orders for steel pipe, has benefited steel makers. Recently, U.S. GE Renewable Energy and Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co. collaborated to develop an offshore wind energy business. Both companies are parts of the Hyundai Heavy Industries Group. The business intends to localise numerous pieces of machinery and equipment that need steel pipes.

Sending electricity generated by offshore wind farms from the sea to the land is known as offshore wind energy. Since offshore wind farms can require hundreds of generators, they are huge in size. On the other hand, onshore wind power is less economically viable than offshore wind power due to potential concerns with restricted land and resident approva

Additionally, Doosan Enerbility Co. intends to construct on Jeju an offshore wind energy complex. Doosan Enerbility has 3.3 megawatt, 5.5 MW, and 8 MW turbine models and began operating offshore wind farms in 2005. Last year, the business built a facility to make 5.5 MW models. Additionally, it is getting ready to design a next-generation model and build an 8 MW production facility. There is optimism that more sizable wind farms will be built in Korea now that the business has secured international approval for the largest 8 MW turbine.

Large-size steel pipes are typically necessary for offshore wind generation plants.

A gigawatt of steel pipes are utilised in 1 gigawatt wind power facilities, according to industry sources. According to the Korea Iron & Steel Association, the total number of new offshore wind power plant installations would be 51 GW by 2030, requiring 10.2–12.5 million tonnes of steel pipe year.

Steel producers like POSCO and Hyundai Steel Co. are concentrating on the offshore wind sector in an effort to offset sluggish Chinese demand and bring down steel prices.

“As domestic offshore wind power business becomes more active, this will help local steelmakers to expand steel pipe supply to overseas markets like Asia, Australia and North America,” said an unnamed official from Hyundai Steel. “Korea has strengths in all areas except for wind turbines such as structure fabrication, cables, substations and dedicated installment lines, which leaves much room for growth not only in steel pipe supply but in overall heavy industries sector as well.”

Current Issue