Original news was published on 01 October 2019
Energy major Equinor and power provider China Power International Holding have signed an agreement to cooperate in the development of new offshore wind projects across China and Europe.
The Memorandum of Understanding marks a renewed commitment by the two firms in renewable energy, and is expected to spur significant new breakbulk activity.
It also reinforces the transformation of their historic asset portfolios from hydrocarbon-driven to wind power.
“The signing of the MoU between CPIH and Equinor is a big step forward for both companies to move into new markets in renewables and develop a long-term strategic partnership. We strongly believe the collaboration between CPIH and Equinor in China and Europe will bring vast experience, knowledge and expertise to the industry,” Jun Tian, president of CPIH, said.
Largest offshore wind market by 2030
Headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, Equinor has traditionally been a petroleum explorer but since rebranding from Statoil in 2018, the group has entered the wind power sector aggressively, investing in 20 wind energy company with operations in thirty-six countries and now ranks as one of the world's largest oil and gas companies.
“As an offshore wind major, Equinor is excited to collaborate with CPIH to develop offshore wind… China is rapidly increasing its use of renewables and natural gas. The country is set to become the world’s biggest offshore wind market by 2030,” Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president for New Energy Solutions at Equinor, said.
The latest MoU will strengthen Equinor’s operations in China which date back to 1982. The firm co-operates the Lufeng oil field in the South China Sea, with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and has an established crude trading business in China with partnerships including CNOOC, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Sinochem and Sinopec.
The MoU between the two firms follows two other major tender victories for Equinor so far this year with a project of over 800 megawatts in the U.S. and 1,800 megawatts in the UK.
"In order to realise their offshore ambitions, we are seeing offshore wind developers aggressively push to position themselves in new markets through greenfield projects, pipeline acquisitions and alliances. Equinor has, in 2019, cemented its strong position in offshore wind - not only through its tender victories but also though its ability to position itself in fledgling offshore wind markets e.g. Poland, South Korea, the Canary Islands and now China,” Soeren Lassen, Wood Mackenzie Senior Research Analyst, commented.
Wood Mackenzie notes that five players currently account for “almost one-third” of the global offshore wind portfolio, causing the offshore wind sector to become increasingly competitive as the industry globalises and developers bolster their offshore wind ambitions.