Energy 21 August, 2023 7:30 am   

Polish offshore – on time, but participation of domestic ports uncertain

Offshore wind turbines farm on the ocean. Sustainable energy Offshore wind turbines farm on the ocean. Sustainable energy production, clean power.

Poland is not concerned about offshore projects delays due to the lack of installation ports. “So far, the Ministry of Climate and Environment has not received any information from investors about a possible threat to the implementation of offshore wind farm projects due to the current lack of installation terminals in Poland,” the Climate Ministry said. The Ministry of Infrastructure points to the key role of developers.

Distribution of offshore roles in Poland

“The Ministry of Climate and Environment is responsible for ensuring the right regulatory environment to support the development of a new branch of the economy, which is offshore wind energy,” the Ministry explained in response to questions from “Supervision over the functioning and development of Polish seaports is exercised by the minister responsible for maritime economy – Minister of Infrastructure. This body is also responsible for the implementation of the green energy component B of the National Plan for Reconstruction and Resilience (KPO) and reducing the energy intensity of the investment: Construction of Offshore Terminal Infrastructure. This investment will consist of two projects. The first includes the construction of a deep-water installation terminal, the second includes two service terminals for offshore wind farms.

“The Ministry of Infrastructure actively participates in the project for developing offshore wind energy in Poland,” the Ministry said. “Properly prepared Polish seaports should be so-called harbors of first choice for OWF installation and maintenance services planned in the Polish exclusive economic zone on the Baltic Sea. As a result of the actions of many stakeholders, including industry, who are key to the success of the entire Polish offshore wind project, the required port facilities in Poland will be provided. Thanks to it, it will be possible to provide comprehensive services to the OWFs both at the stage of their construction and subsequent operation,” the Ministry continued their response to

Polish offshore needs port facilities

Funds from the National Reconstruction Plan, which would help to carry out the construction of the installation port, are still not flowing to Poland due to the dispute over judicial reform. Meanwhile, the development of Polish offshore wind farms requires adequate funding.

“The condition for ensuring the effective development of offshore wind energy in Poland, including the achievement of Poland’s energy policy goals until 2040, is the creation of adequate port facilities for servicing offshore wind farms (OWF),” argues the Ministry of Infrastructure in response to questions “Through the broad inclusion of Polish seaports in the Polish offshore wind project, it will be possible to improve the energy security of the state, as well as to ensure the efficient and effective development of a new sector of the economy with the largest possible participation of the businesses from the national supply chain (the so-called  local content), which will benefit the entire Polish economy,” the Ministry explained.

“Adequate port facilities are one of the basic elements of the construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore wind farms, as well as ensuring the safety of these investments. In addition, limiting the distance of terminals from the place of implementation of offshore wind farm investments is one of the key aspects of reducing costs, and also determines the timeliness of the implementation of investments,” confirms the Ministry of Climate.

All ports of the Polish offshore

“The offshore wind sector in Poland will be serviced on the basis of the potential of several locations, in accordance with the business decisions of the OWF developers. According to current assumptions, installation ports will be built in Gdańnsk and Świnoujście, while service ports will be built in smaller local and regional centers, such as Łeba or Ustka. Other locations cannot be ruled out, as stakeholders can prepare additional infrastructure to serve the OWFs, ” the ministry in charge of infrastructure said.

“Investment projects in the field of preparation of appropriate offshore wind port facilities are implemented with the active participation of, among others, developers of the OWF. Their role in such a processes is crucial. It is offshore wind developers who are the recipients of services offered in installation or service terminals, hence their involvement, including capital, in individual investments in Polish seaports,” explains the Ministry of Infrastructure. “In addition to these, terminal operators, port authorities and maritime administrations are also important, which, depending on the project, take action within the scope of their competence,” the ministry continued. According to information held by the Ministry of Infrastructure, investment activities in ports are closely correlated with the construction and servicing schedules of the OWFs.

“For each of the projects that relate to these locations, i.e. Gdańsk, Świnoujście, Łeba and Ustka, it is possible to indicate the actions taken that will ultimately create appropriate facilities for the offshore wind sector. Preparatory activities related to the design of infrastructure in ports and the necessary facilities for the installation or servicing of offshore wind turbines, obtaining relevant permits and administrative decisions, as well as target financial installation, agreeing on the terms of cooperation, etc., constitute a bulk of the preparations,” the response from the Ministry of Infrastructure reads. “As part of the Polish offshore wind project, we are talking about launching investments worth significantly more than PLN 100 billion, thanks to which it will be possible to generate many jobs. Studies suggest it could be more than 100,000 jobs,” the Ministry claims.

“So far, the Ministry of Climate and Environment has not received any information from investors about a possible threat to the implementation of offshore wind farm projects due to the current lack of installation terminals in Poland,” the Climate Ministry said. “The project carried out by Orlen in cooperation with the Management Board of the Seaports of Szczecin and Świnoujście consisting in the preparation of the offshore wind energy installation terminal in the Port of Świnoujście, as well as the investment planned by PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna and Baltic Hub Container Terminal consisting in the construction of the installation terminal in the Port of Gdańsk, will guarantee the timely implementation of the project schedules by the developers,” it added.

However, the Poles are not interested in international cooperation at the moment, for example, the construction of an energy island in Bornholm in cooperation with the Danes and Germany. “At this stage in the development of offshore wind energy, Poland is focusing on its own national projects. In combination with investments related to the construction of a nuclear power plant and the ecacuation of power from it, the implementation of projects in the Polish area of the Baltic Sea will strengthen the networks in the north of the country and ensure that electricity generated in this area can be efficiently transmitted to the south,” the Climate Ministry concluded.

Świnoujście for starters

The first Polish installation port is to be built for PKN Orlen. Orlen Neptun would like to launch the first facility of this type in Poland, which, together with the one planned in Gdańsk, is intended to provide comprehensive support for all wind projects. It will not do without help from abroad. Orlen has the support of Canadian Northland Power, PGE – Danish Orsted, and Polenergia-Norwegian Equinor. Only the expansion of their own supply chains in Poland will allow them to be independent, and the installation ports are the foundation of this condition.

Wojciech Jakóbik