Equinor has strengthened its supplier base in Norway with the appointment of Wergeland Group covering floating wind turbine foundations. However, the developer was forced to postpone its Trollvind project in Bergen.

Equinor entered into a long-term partnership agreement with Wergeland Group which saw the Norwegian manufacturer named as a preferred supplier for the fabrication of floating offshore wind turbine foundations.

Equinor said that the objective of this agreement is to ensure that Equinor has the industrial capacity to develop offshore wind projects in the country. “The agreement will promote further development of the Norwegian supplier industry in offshore wind and will also bring local value creation and social development. We’re very pleased to contribute to expertise development and jobs along the Norwegian coast, and we look forward to further cooperation with Wergeland Group in concrete projects in the years ahead,” said Siri Espedal Kindem, senior vice president for the Renewables Norway cluster at Equinor. The agreement has an initial duration of five years with an option to extend.

Siri Espedal Kindem, senior vice president for the Renewables Norway cluster.

Siri Espedal Kindem.

The next project that both firms will cooperate at is Utsira North, developed by Equinor and Vårgrønn. This is scheduled for award this year. The plan is to use a concrete floater based on a spar-type design.

Trollvind postponed

In mid-May, Equinor confirmed that it will postpone further development at the Trollvind offshore wind initiative indefinitely. The decision is based on several challenges facing the project, including technology availability, rising cost and a strained timetable to deliver on the original concept. The authorities have been informed about the decision.

“We appreciate all the positive response towards Trollvind from politicians, suppliers, and authorities. Trollvind was a bold industrial plan to solve pressing issues concerning electrification of oil and gas installations, bringing much needed power to the Bergen-area, while accelerating floating offshore wind power in Norway. Unfortunately, we no longer see a way forward to deliver on our original concept of having an operational wind farm well before 2030,” said Kindem.

Rising costs have challenged the original concept that Trollvind would not require any financial support and it is no longer a commercially sustainable project. Furthermore, changes in the technical solutions due to preferred technology not being available has made the concept less viable. Finally, the developer said the timeline was always going to be a challenge.