ORLEN Group with new competence in offshore wind energy
ORLEN Group-owned LOTOS Petrobaltic has equipped the first vessel in Poland with a drilling system that allows for geological and engineering research at depths of up to 120 metres. This means that ORLEN Group will be able to carry out research on the seabed for the purposes of wind power, both for its own projects and for external entities. The vessel will begin its first commercial work in Lithuanian waters later in the first quarter of 2023.
– Energy transformation has the potential to become the driving force of the Polish economy. An important element of it will be offshore wind energy, providing not only stable, clean energy for millions of Poles, but also creating thousands of jobs and providing new opportunities for domestic companies. We want to make full use of this potential, which is why we are consistently implementing our own wind projects. We are also investing in services for other companies implementing projects not only in Polish territorial waters. Using the competences of the acquired LOTOS Group for this purpose perfectly demonstrates the synergies created as a result of building a multi-energy concern,” says Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN ORLEN.
The drilling rig installed on the Sylur enables offshore geotechnical surveys of up to 120m in depth, as well as sub-seabed drilling of up to 100m. The rig will enable LOTOS Petrobaltic to provide comprehensive geotechnical services to the offshore wind energy sector. Seabed surveys are one of the most important stages in the design of a wind farm. Their results make it possible to precisely examine the structure of the seabed, which is needed, among other things, when selecting the type of foundations on which wind turbines will ultimately stand.
– The new drilling equipment will replace the drilling rig previously used and opens up new, more advanced applications in the offshore wind sector. The investment makes our vessel Sylur a unique vessel in the Baltic Sea region and fits in with our extensive offshore wind development plans in Poland and the Baltic countries,” adds Grzegorz Strzelczyk, CEO of LOTOS Petrobaltic.
After installation and sea trials of the new system, the Sylur will be deployed to work in the area planned for the future construction of Lithuania’s first offshore wind farm. LOTOS Petrobaltic is a subcontractor to the consortium of Geobaltic and Garant Diving, which won the tender launched by the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy.
Drilling on the Lithuanian Baltic Sea shelf is planned for the first quarter of 2023. They were preceded by a preliminary geotechnical survey of the seabed, which the company carried out in August 2022. To date, the company has also conducted work in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea – in the Slupsk Shoal area and around the UK – at the Thanet Wind Farm (Thames Estuary) and Gwynt-Y-Mor Farm (Liverpool Bay) wind farms.