Orlen has made the final investment decision on the construction of the first Polish offshore wind farm the Baltic Power. It will start operating in 2026. As part of the offshore development, an installation port in Świnoujście will also be built.
The Orlen Group has been investing in offshore wind farms for a long time. Now the final investment decision has been made, which means that the permits, components and funding sources have been completed. The Baltic Power will be developed in cooperation with Canada’s Northland Power, and will generate nearly 1.2 GW of clean energy, the equivalent to the consumption of about 1.5 million households. The company estimates that this will avoid approximately 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
The foundations for the farm will be installed in 2024, a year later 76 Vestas wind turbines are to be built, each with a capacity of 25 MW and a height of 250 meters, for comparison, the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw measures 231 meters. For now, Orlen is building an onshore power station, which will be responsible for evacuating the power from the sea. The company has planned to allocate nearly EUR 5 billion for the project, as it estimates that over 5 years the farm will generate an average annual free cash flow of about 140 million euros.
Part of Orlen’s investments in RES and offshore is the construction of Poland’s first offshore wind farm installation terminal. Completion is scheduled for 2025 and will result in the most modern terminal of this type in Europe. It will be used to transport and install wind turbines with a capacity exceeding 15 MW. In addition to Baltic Power, it is expected to enable the construction of five more planned offshore wind farms. The company’s strategy assumes that by 2030 it will reach a capacity of 9 GW from RES alone, and by 2050 Orlen is to achieve emission neutrality.
“We are at a turning point, both for the Orlen Group and for the entire Polish energy sector. We have started the implementation of the largest investment in renewable resources in the country and the entire region. The Baltic Power offshore wind farm is one of only two projects in Europe to have reached the implementation phase in the last three years. Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, supply chain issues, and the conflict across our eastern border, we have consistently adhered to the schedule adopted at the beginning. Within three years, we will launch the first investment, but we want to use our experience and built infrastructure for other projects. For example, the construction of the offshore wind farm installation terminal in Świnoujście, which will be used to develop the Baltic Power, has just begun, and it will also provide services to the next five farms planned by the Orlen Group with a total capacity of 5.2 GW,” says Daniel Obajatek, President of Orlen.
“We need energy from offshore wind. The Baltic Power is one of the most beautiful and important investments in this sector,” said Mike Crawley, CEO of Northland Power Canada. “We don’t have two separate teams – Orlen and Northlam, there is one united team,” he emphasized. “Who’s the winner? The winners of the construction of the farm at sea will be, first of all, the citizens who will receive clean energy. This is an ideal environment for creating great things, as evidenced by the timeliness of permits and approvals for the construction of the first offshore elements,” the participant of the Orlen conference assured.
“This is a very unusual port, imagine a turbine that has 37 floors. It is from here that ships will head to offshore fields to build offshore wind farms,” minister Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska illustrated the scale of the investment during the conference in Świnoujście.
“Today we are starting to build the first installation port in Świnoujście. One of the most modern investment ports in Europe. If we did not create the logistics that would secure the investment, we would not be able to receive funding,” said Daniel Obajtek President of Orlen during the conference in Świnoujście. “Both Polish and foreign companies will use this port,” he stressed.
Orlen / Marcin Karwowski