In its strategy until 2030, PKN ORLEN has set the target of 1.7GW of installed offshore wind power capacity (weighted by its share in the projects), assuming potential further development of the offshore wind power portfolio after 2030. The ORLEN Group has been consistently working to become the leader in offshore wind energy generation in the Polish Baltic Sea zone.
In 2021, the ORLEN Group consistently carried out activities in the form of continuation of the construction of the first offshore wind farm (OWF) „Baltic Power” with a capacity of up to 1,200 MW in the Polish exclusive economic zone of the Baltic Sea and the creation of an OWF competence center for the implementation of subsequent OWF construction projects. In the Baltic Power project, an environmental decision was obtained for the area of the Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) and over 2-year wind tests were completed and signed with Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A. connection agreement. The main stage of preparation of the preliminary technical project of the OWF has been completed. A positive decision was obtained regarding the financial support for the project in the form of the so-called contract for difference (CFD) at the Polish level (ERO), and the documentation required to notify the obtained support at the European Commission level was submitted to the relevant authorities. The commissioning of the OWF „Baltic Power” is scheduled for 2026.
As part of the operationalisation of its strategy it was assumed that the development of the ORLEN Group’s wind power segment may be most effectively achieved through organic development of competencies and market advantages based on the opportunities offered by the emerging market in Poland and the Baltic states. To this end, an Offshore Competence Centre is being established within PKN ORLEN to implement new projects. To support the wind power development in the Polish Baltic Sea zone, two new companies: ORLEN Neptun I-XI and Energa MFW 1-2 were established to obtain permits to construct and use artificial islands, structures and equipment in the Polish exclusive economic zone of the Baltic Sea. The next step in the process will be to prepare for the construction of offshore wind farms. In December 2021, the companies completed preparations for the filing of 11 applications for location permits with respect to all designated areas. The first was submitted in the same month, with the remaining applications planned to be filed when the administration opens the next application rounds.
In order to assess the attractiveness of offshore wind power development, PKN ORLEN launched the POSEJDON project in the Baltic states. In line with the project schedule, a strategy for entry into the Baltic markets was worked out, which provides for further development of the POSEJDON project and preparation of a recommendation concerning PKN ORLEN’s participation in the planned offshore auction on the Lithuanian market in 2023. The estimated total offshore potential in the Baltic States is 26 GW. In 2025, the Baltic States will disconnect from the BRELL system. Electricity imports from Russia and Belarus will thus cease, forcing an earlier expansion of low-carbon energy sources. Lithuania, whose offshore potential is estimated at 3.35 GW, is the most developed market of this kind in the Baltic states, with the first auction scheduled for September 2023 (700 MW). The Lithuanian state is conducting environmental, geophysical and geotechnical surveys as well as wind surveys, the findings of which are to be made available to the auction winner. As part of the Latvian-Estonian partnership, Latvia prepared the 700-1000 MW ELWIND project, with an auction planned for 2025. In addition, in 2021 PKN ORLEN launched a procedure to prepare an analysis of green hydrogen production using offshore wind power assets in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
In August 2021, PKN ORLEN entered into a strategic offshore wind power partnership with GE of the US, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of offshore wind farm turbines. The agreement does not mean that GE will definitely supply turbines for the planned offshore wind farms but may guarantee certainty of supply to PKN ORLEN and strengthen its competitive position in seeking new location permits for offshore wind farms in the Polish exclusive economic zone of the Baltic Sea. The partnership marks another stepping stone in the delivery of the ORLEN2030 strategy, aimed at achieving a zero net carbon footprint in 2050.
In September 2021, a sectoral agreement was signed concerning offshore wind power development in Poland. The agreement is intended to lead to the execution of an agreement between key offshore sector stakeholders (government representatives, investors, supply chain companies, industry organisations, etc.) on supporting the development of this sector in Poland, including the local supply chain.