Equinor has completed the acquisition of a site at the port of Łeba to serve as the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Polish Baltic Sea offshore wind projects.
This makes Equinor the first developer to confirm an offshore wind maintenance port in Poland together with the joint venture partner Polenergia, the Norwegian offshore energy major said.
Equinor will construct, own and operate the base which will support the Bałtyk offshore wind projects of Equinor and partner Polenergia, and could also support additional activities in the future.
Equinor and Polenergia are currently jointly developing the Bałtyk III, Bałtyk II, and Bałtyk I offshore wind projects.
Bałtyk III and Bałtyk II, with a combined potential capacity of 1,440 MW, were awarded contracts for difference (CfD) by Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office earlier this month.
”The selection of Łeba to host the operations and maintenance base for Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III is another step towards the development of the Baltyk offshore wind projects,” said Michal Kolodziejczyk, Equinor’s country manager in Poland.
”We are making a long-term investment in Łeba as a future hub of offshore wind in Poland. We are committed to creating lasting local value through our projects in Poland, and the O&M base means jobs and investment for Łeba and the region. We are excited to contribute to a new chapter in the rich maritime tradition of Łeba and will continue to engage in a dialogue with all stakeholders as Poland’s offshore wind industry takes shape.”
The planned O&M base would serve as the logistics hub for the Bałtyk projects, with an office, storage, and transportation facilities. The proximity of Łeba to the Bałtyk offshore wind farm areas will contribute to optimizing safety and operation costs, Equinor said.
An investment in Łeba is expected to bring opportunities for the city as well as the wider region in terms of local supply chain and employment. The jobs required to operate an offshore wind farm include maintenance technician roles, that will predominately be based offshore, as well as office-based teams to support the operations from land.
”We see our offshore wind projects as an important part of the transformation – not only energy-wise but also for the economies of Poland and Europe,” said Michał Michalski, president of the management board of Polenergia.
”Our goal for the projects development is not only reducing emissions and support energy diversification but to create additional jobs, bring a chance for many companies’ modernization, innovation and new competitive advantages of Polish industry as well. Therefore, together with our partner we have created a flagship program to support Polish wind energy industry development and now, while building supply chain for our offshore windfarms, we can implement them step by step. The first and a very important step on that path is selection of the port in Łeba to become operations and maintenance base for Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III projects.”
The Bałtyk projects of Equinor and Polenergia are among the largest offshore wind farms under development in Poland.
Bałtyk III and Bałtyk II could generate enough renewable offshore wind energy to power two million Polish homes.
Construction of the wind farm infrastructure could begin as soon as 2024.