UPDATE 1-Equinor to invest nearly $550 mln in floating wind power off Norway

(Adds project details, background)

OSLO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Equinor said on Friday it will invest nearly 5 billion Norwegian crowns ($549 million) to build floating turbines to supply power to several North Sea oil and gas platforms, in a move that will allow the Norwegian firm to cut carbon emissions.

The 88 megawatt (MW) capacity project, called Hywind Tampen, consisting of 11 turbines, would meet about 35% of electricity needs at the Gullfaks and Snorre fields, Equinor said.

The project will allow Equinor to reduce CO2 emissions from gas turbines on offshore installations by about 200,000 tonnes per year, an equivalent of emissions from 100,000 cars every year, it added.

Though Equinor had presented preliminary plans for the Hywind Tampen project last year, the decision to go ahead with the investment was only made on Friday. The cost estimate was unchanged from projections made in 2018.

The Norwegian government earlier this year agreed to provide 2.3 billion crowns in financial support, in addition to 566 million crowns provided by the industry’s NOx fund.

Equinor’s partners in the two licences are state-owned Petoro, OMV, Idemitsu, Wintershall Dea , Eni’s subsidiary Vaar Energi and Exxon Mobil .

Last month, Exxon had agreed to sell its stakes off Norway, including in the Snorre licence, to Vaar Energi. ($1 = 9.1108 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, Editing by Terje Solsvik and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)