French shipowner Bourbon has struck a partnership with German energy giant RWE to target floating wind projects.
Bourbon said the duo will bid for French Mediterranean business under the A06 offshore tender due to launch in the coming weeks.
RWE Renewables France and Bourbon Subsea Services (BSS) have submitted pre-selection documents to the French government.
The A06 tender involves two sites for development, each with a planned installed capacity of about 250 MW and potential extensions leading to a total capacity of 1.5 GW.
“With our unique track record in installing floating wind turbine prototypes and pilot farms, our ambition is to participate very actively in the development of the French industrial sector," said BSS chief executive Patrick Belenfant.
“By signing this partnership with RWE, we are eager to better understand from the inside the needs of our customers and the industrial challenges necessary for the large-scale deployment of floating wind turbines.”
Floating projects open up the possibility of deployment in deeper water.
RWE is already forging ahead with three high-profile floating wind demonstration projects in Norway, Spain and the US.
The utility has also qualified to participate in the French offshore auction A04, known as La Manche, together with TotalEnergies; and in A05, for the country’s first commercial floating offshore wind project off the coast of Brittany.
Big business in Europe
Since 2011, Bourbon has installed most of the semi-submersible floating wind turbines in Europe.
Last May, the company signed a deal for a three-floater pilot project in the Mediterranean and is working with RWE on installation and start-up of the TetraSpar Demonstrator project in Norway.
Bourbon’s Marseille teams will bring their technical know-how through front-end engineering studies, supported by a solid network of local partners, which has been built up over more than 10 years, the company added.
Pierre Peysson, director for offshore at RWE Renewables France, said: “Combining our strengths and expertise, we look forward to working with Bourbon to advance the floating offshore wind industry, hand in hand with the communities we are both actively engaged with.”
Bourbon said it will continue to work with clients and partners to build its floating wind portfolio worldwide.