China’s three biggest oil companies are all now active in offshore wind after China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) – parent of listed giant PetroChina – secured roles in two projects off Jiangsu province, Recharge has discovered.
CNPC joins China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and Sinopec to complete a trio of Chinese fossil giants with positions in the country’s fast-growing wind-at-sea sector.
Tender documents show the offshore engineering subsidiary of CNPC won installation contracts from China Huaneng at the utility’s offshore wind projects at Guanyun and Dafeng off Jiangsu province.
CNPC’s entry to the sector has been low-key, made public only when a subcontractor, Shangdong Electricity Power Construction (SEPCO), announced it had won an electrical equipment installation contract from the oil giant.
An earlier tender document from China Huaneng confirmed that the oil company had won the EPC contractor role for building the offshore substation at the company’s 300MW Guanyun offshore wind farm. And CNPC’s own documentation suggests that the firm is preparing for installation projects in Huaneng’s 300MW Dafeng project.
Significantly, CNPC secured one of the contracts in a competition with Sinopec and CNOOC, reflecting the rising appetite among oil majors for offshore wind, which offers them a potentially huge new market.
CNOOC used to be the exclusive player allowed by Beijing to conduct offshore hydrocarbon exploration and production in China – a system developed since 1982 but abolished in 2009. CNPC has entered the offshore oil arena since then, but so far with limited success.
CNOOC remains the leader among the three thanks to its offshore hydrocarbon exploration experience, both domestic and overseas. It is also developing floating reactors together with China General Nuclear (CGN).
CNOOC’s First Project
Just three months ago, CNOOC revealed its ambition to “get back” to the offshore wind sector, initially by investing as a minority shareholder in a project in Jiangsu province.
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The firm has yet to disclose to details. But Recharge discovered exclusively that the investment is in the 300MW Zhugensha project, which is being developed by a four-party joint venture called Jiangsu Shuangchuang New Energy Corp.
The JV is 51% controlled by the local government-backed Zhejiang Hydraulic Electricity Investment Corp. and 38% owned by CNOOC, with the remaining share held by two private firms.
CNOOC said the project will start construction by May and looks set to complete grid connection this year – a crucial step for the oil company to make a further decision on its offshore wind strategy.