(Reuters) – Italian renewable developer Renexia has selected France’s Technip Energies (TE.PA) to study and design key elements of one of the world’s biggest floating offshore wind farms, the French engineering group said on Thursday.
The French group, which this year launched a division dedicated to energy transition projects, will conduct the front-end engineering and design for Renexia’s proposed 9 billion euro ($9.59 billion) Med Wind project in the Strait of Sicily.
Technip estimates a worldwide pipeline of 60 gigawatt in floating offshore wind projects, a new frontier for renewable energy, by 2040 with 150 billion to 180 billion euros in investments.
The French group is working on similar developments in South Korea and believes its technology to build floaters can give it a competitive advantage in Europe as well, said Willy Gauttier, Technip’s vice president for floating offshore wind, in an interview.
“We are in a leading position in Korea and we want to have this leading role also in Europe. For this reason this is an important project for us,” he said.
“Last year we won 200 million euros of order intake for our energy transition business, excluding liquefied natural gas. This year we expect to reach 1 billion euros of orders (in this segment),” Gauttier said.
The project will have an installed power capacity of 2.8 GW, enough to power more than three million Italian households. It will have 190 floating foundations for the wind turbines.
Renexia, part of privately owned Toto Group, is studying the environmental impact, as required by Italy in its complex permitting process for such investments.
Renexia is confident about getting approval to start construction in 2024, a company spokesperson said.