Dutch SBM Offshore and French Technip Energies have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a joint venture entity, EkWiL. The new company will be a floating offshore wind pure player, capable of proposing a wide range of solutions.

EkWiL will combine the people expertise, engineering and delivery capabilities, and complementary technologies of Technip Energies and SBM Offshore, creating integrated floating solutions and leading delivery offerings for the floating offshore wind market. According to the companies, this positioning will enhance execution certainty and cost competitiveness to these innovative projects.

Two technology concepts

The 50/50 joint venture will operate as a fully integrated team, bringing together knowledge, innovation and capacities to develop the companies’ two technologies (semi-submersible INO15 by T.EN and tension leg platform Float4Wind) covering a large spectrum of the floating offshore wind market, and bring them to commercial deployment.

The INO15 by T.EN supports a 15 megawatt wind turbine generator (WTG). This floater is specifically designed to meet the needs of both ongoing and future projects. With a focus on providing a standardised, de-risked product, Technip Energies has optimised its cost-effectiveness and streamlined its production process. INO15 by T.EN is suitable for the harshest conditions, mitigating operational risks.

SBM Offshore‘s Float4Wind is the company’s second-generation offshore wind floater based on tension leg platform (TLP) technology. According to SBM, it is a pragmatic solution for the market, with a simpler design, a reduced number of components and ready for industrialisation. The platform includes inclined tensioned legs that reduce nacelle motions, the concept is scalable to the largest wind turbine as well as ultradeep water and harsher environments, it offers the same power production as bottom-fixed turbines and requires no active ballast system.

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‘Collaborating is necessary’

‘Our aim is to become a recognised leading contractor in developing floating offshore wind infrastructures,’ says Bruno Chabas, CEO of SBM Offshore. ‘Collaboration is fundamental to position our ambitions sustainably while managing the pace of infrastructure development and the challenging economics of these pioneering systems. We are pleased to share our experience with the right partner, broadening the range of solutions and reinforcing our energy transition commitment.’

Arnaud Pieton, CEO of Technip Energies, adds: ‘Joining forces and collaborating are necessary to capture the potential of the nascent floating offshore wind market. By leveraging the synergies of complementary technologies and supply chain experience, EkWiL will increase predictability to meet market demand and deliver on our ambition to provide new energy solutions.’

There are a number of matters that parties will attend to for completion of the transactions, which includes satisfactory conclusion of due diligence, engagement with employee representative bodies to complete relevant consultations, and having in place all necessary regulatory approvals.

Picture: Wind floater (by SBM Offshore).

Also read: ‘Offshore wind energy is becoming too expensive’