Baltic Power the world's first offshore wind farm using low-emission steel
The Baltic Power offshore wind farm, a joint project of ORLEN Group and Northland Power, will be the first in the world to be built using Low-emission steel produced almost entirely from recycled raw material in an electric arc furnace powered by renewable energy. The use of this material will reduce the turbine's lifecycle carbon footprint by 10 per cent. The Baltic Power farm will start production in 2026 and will be able to power more than 1.5 million households.
- The energy transition in Central Europe is gaining momentum and the Baltic Power wind farm is its landmark. Once it becomes operational in 2026, an additional almost 1.2 GW of capacity will be added to the Polish energy system, providing about 3 per cent of the country's total electricity demand. In the following years, an additional 5.2 GW will be added, thanks to the construction of further wind farms in 5 new ORLEN Group concessions in the Baltic Sea. In the context of these plans, partnerships with experienced global players are especially important, as they give us access to innovative technologies that reduce carbon emissions associated with the construction of renewable energy sources themselves," says Daniel Obajtek, President of the ORLEN Management Board.
Baltic Power will generate 4,000 GWh of zero-emission electricity per year, avoiding the emission of approximately 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Additional emission reductions, already during the construction phase of the farm, will be made possible by the use of sustainably produced steel for the components of the towers on which the nacelles will be mounted. This material will be used for the top elements of 52 of Baltic Power's 76 towers. The sustainable material will account for 15 per cent of the total steel used, according to Vestas, the supplier of the farm's turbines. It uses almost entirely recycled raw material, melted in an electric arc furnace powered by renewable energy from the wind. This will reduce the CO2 intensity by 66 per cent per kilogram of steel compared to conventional steel. The steel produced by ArcelorMittal in the Belgian town of Charleroi has the same quality and technological performance as conventionally produced materials.
As the first offshore wind farm in Polish waters, Baltic Power is the beginning of a new chapter in Poland and is raising the bar on project sustainability. As an industry whose mission is to build a net-zero future, we look for innovative ways to execute on our vision across the entire value chain. This new technology does just that, setting a new standard for the entire global offshore wind industry to ensure we’re sourcing sustainable materials to further reduce carbon footprints,” said Mike Crawley, President and Chief Executive Officer for Northland Power.
The Baltic Power farm, with a capacity of nearly 1.2 GW, will be located 23 km from the Baltic coast. In 2024, preparations will begin for the construction of the foundations on which the turbines, more than 230 metres high, will stand. In 2025, 76 Vestas wind turbines of 15 MW each will be installed on the farm. Work is already underway on the onshore substation that will receive energy from the sea. Baltic Power has agreements with major suppliers to secure the entire supply chain. Contractors include the most experienced suppliers in the offshore wind sector, including companies from Poland.
“Finding ways to decarbonise the emissions produced during the raw material extraction and refinement of steel is vital for us and the industry in general. Vestas sees the partnership with ArcelorMittal and the adoption of low-emission steel as a significant lever in reducing CO2 emissions within the wind industry. Commitment from our customers is vital to drive the transition so we are very happy that we can provide value to our customers with this solution. The Baltic Power project stands as a solid example of this progress, having secured the first order and affirming the delivery of substantial value to our customers.” says Dieter Dehoorne, Head of Global Procurement at Vestas.
The total budget of the Baltic Power project is estimated at around €4.73 billion. The project is financed under the Project Finance formula, with loan agreements totalling approximately EUR 4.4 billion concluded with 25 Polish and international financial institutions. This is the largest financing raised for a single investment in Poland's history and one of the largest transactions of its kind in the offshore wind area in Europe.
Offshore wind energy is one of the main directions of development of the ORLEN Group's modern energy sector. According to the Company's strategy, by the end of this decade the Group will reach 9 GW of installed capacity in renewable energy sources. The implementation of all the offshore wind farm projects currently in the Group's portfolio will provide it with approximately 6.4 GW of new, zero-emission generation capacity and contribute to achieving the company's carbon neutrality target in 2050.
Baltic Power, a joint project of the ORLEN Group and Northland Power, has been recognized and honored with the prestigious award for the best European financial transaction of the year 2023. This unique award highlights the importance of Poland's first offshore wind farm in shaping the future of renewable energy sources in the region. The award statuette was handed over to Baltic Power Managememt Board representatives Jarosław Broda and Jens Poulsen during a gala in London.
Work on the construction of a service base that will service the Baltic Power offshore wind farm, a joint project between ORLEN Group and Northland Power, has begun in Łeba. It will be a mother port for vessels transporting equipment and technical personnel responsible for maintaining the investment. The base will employ a total of around 60 people and will service the farm for its entire life cycle, i.e. a minimum of 25 years.
A medical facility in Łeba has received a grant of PLN 150,000. This financial support from Baltic Power has enabled the purchase of essential medical equipment for the facility. This is another of the initiatives of Baltic Power, a joint project between ORLEN Group and Northland Power for the local communities in Pomerania. It ties in with a program supporting the residents living in the areas where the accompanying infrastructure of offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea is being built.