Łeba to become location for operations and maintenance base for Polish Baltic Sea offshore wind projects
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. The announcement makes Equinor the first developer to confirm an offshore wind maintenance port in Poland together with the joint venture partner Polenergia.
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 1440 MW, were awarded contracts for difference (CfD) by Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office on May 4, 2021.
Says Michal Kolodziejczyk, Equinor country manager in Poland: “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. 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.”
“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. 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.” – adds Michał Michalski, president of the management board of Polenergia.
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.
An investment located in Łeba will 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.
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 farms infrastructure could begin as soon as 2024.
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About the projects
- MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III are a 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and Polenergia with a potential capacity of up to 1440 MW. Equinor is the operator of the projects through the development, construction, and operations phases.
- MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III cover a combined area of approximately 240 square kilometers located between 22 km and 37 km from the coast. The water depths range from around 25 to 40 meters.
- In additional to MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III, Equinor and Polenergia are jointly developing the MFW Bałtyk I area, with the potential to generate up to 1560 MW. MFW Bałtyk I is following a different timeline and is being matured accordingly.
- Equinor’s ambition is to be a leading company in the energy transition, building a material position in renewable energy. Equinor powers more than one million homes in Europe with renewable electricity from offshore wind farms in the UK and Germany.
- The company is building material offshore wind clusters in the North Sea, the US east coast and the Baltic Sea. In Poland, Equinor is involved in three offshore wind projects: MFW Bałtyk I, MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III. Equinor and Polenergia each hold a 50% interest in the three projects.