Norway's Equinor has expanded it presence in the Polish offshore wind market after exercising an option to acquire a 50 percent interest in the Bałtyk I offshore wind development project in the Baltic Sea from domestic firm Polenergia.
The transaction is a follow-up of the agreement between the two companies which came into force in May 2018, by which Equinor acquired a 50 percent interest in Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III.
"We are very pleased to further deepen our presence in Poland and to work with Polenergia, which is an experienced energy company with an in-depth knowledge of the Polish energy market. This acquisition strengthens our presence in the Baltic Sea area giving opportunities for scale and synergies in a longer perspective,” said Jens Økland, Senior vice president for strategy and business development in New energy solutions in Equinor.
The Bałtyk I wind farm area is located in water depths of 25-35 meters, approximately 81 kilometers from the port of Łeba. The offshore location license allows for a development of a wind farm with a capacity up to 1,560MW.
The project is in an early stage, and the companies will form a 50/50 joint venture to further mature the project towards future auction and final investment decision (FID) with Equinor being the manager for the construction preparation and the potential construction and operational phases.
Polenergia is the first and only entity in Poland to have at its disposal already two legally binding environmental decisions for Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III, and a concluded connection agreement, which allow the execution of works on technical designs of two offshore wind farms with a planned total capacity up to 1,200 MW. According to the new work schedule, the first power supply from the offshore wind farms would take place by 2025.
Recognizing the opportunity offered by offshore wind, Poland has included it as part of the recently published draft of the Polish Energy Policy. The Polish Baltic Sea is believed to have a potential in excess of 8 GW.
"Equinor views clearly communicated targets along with robust regulatory framework as key success factors for the development of offshore wind sector in Poland and realizing Polish supply chain potential," the company said.