Poland’s first offshore wind farm secures financing

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to loan up to €610 million ($649m) for the construction of the first offshore windfarm in Poland and one of the largest in the world.

Wind power is touted to be a critical supplier of the energy required for steel industry decarbonisation as well as a major future steel demand driver. Offshore wind is an entirely new market in Poland but with huge prospects thanks to its Baltic Sea access, Kallanish notes.

The Baltic Power offshore windfarm operation will comprise 76 wind turbines for an overall capacity of 1,140MW, with construction set to be completed by mid-2026. This is the first offshore windfarm to reach financial close under the new Polish Offshore Wind Contracts for Difference (CfD) regulatory regime.

The project is of strategic importance and will also contribute to the objectives of the REPowerEU Plan, by rolling out clean energy capacity to support EU energy independence and its security of supply, the bank says.

“Financing for Baltic Power will support the first offshore wind farm project in Poland and will certainly open the way for the green transformation and other future offshore wind energy projects,” says EIB vice-president Teresa Czerwińska.

Baltic Power is a company owned by PKN ORLEN (51% of ownership) and Northland Power (49% of ownership). “Despite the recent challenges for the offshore wind sector in some markets, Northland continues to find a way to advance large-scale offshore wind projects with attractive economics,” says Northland chief executive Mike Crawley.

Construction of Poland’s first offshore wind farm is to start this year, with 18GW of offshore production expected by 2040, Poland’s environment minister, Anna Moskwa, said earlier this week (see Kallanish passim).

Last week, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen pledged support to the EU’s wind power industry, promising a European Wind Power package, a move welcomed by Eurofer.

Last month, Poland’s Industrial Development Agency (ARP) broke ground together with its partners, Spain’s GRI Renewable Industries and Poland-based Baltic Towers, on a new offshore wind tower factory in Gdansk. The plant will be capable of producing towers for the largest, 15MW capacity wind turbines.

For wind turbines, over 90% of total material requirements are steel and concrete. Steel requirement is projected to fall from 140 tonnes/MW to 110t/MW by 2050 for gearbox turbines, and from 400 t/MW to 320 t/MW for direct-drive turbines, according to Energy Transitions Commission research.

Adam Smith Poland