Danish company Ørsted has chosen Warsaw as the location of its engineering competence centre. Human resources strengthening in offshore wind energy is related to Ørsted’s investment plans in the Polish Baltic Sea zone – the company informed the Polish Press Agency.
According to Soren Westergaard Jensen, acting managing director of the offshore area at Ørsted Polska, the specialists employed at the Warsaw EPCO (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Operations) centre will work on Polish offshore wind farm projects while also supporting the group’s operational activities in other markets.
– We are going to employ about 75 people, including engineers and procurement specialists. We currently have over 300 employees in Poland, so increasing the number of staff by 60, 70 or even 90 means significant growth within Poland’s organisation, and highlights the scale of our current recruitment – Jensen pointed out.
He added that Ørsted creates EPCO engineering centres of competence in selected markets, considered by the group as particularly promising and strategic. Poland has been recognised as such a market, where Ørsted is investing in partnership with the Polish Energy Group (PGE) in the largest offshore wind farm, the MFW Baltica, with a capacity of up to 2.5 GW. The Danish company is also seeking location permits with ZE PAK for the farms in the second phase of market development.
– There are only three such centres in Europe: two in Denmark and one in London. So opening it now in Poland is a big event for us and one of the practical implementations of the commitments made under the Polish Offshore Sector Deal – says the Head of the offshore area in Ørsted Polska..
The Danish company emphasises that the Warsaw EPCO centre is another business area where employed specialists will work for both Polish projects and those developed in other countries. This is how the IT and financial services centre has been operating for over 10 years, serving from Warsaw all the markets of the Ørsted group.
– It is about offering the employees greater flexibility in employment – explains Soren Westergaard Jensen. He adds that the specialists employed in the Polish EPCO centre, although primarily engaged in Polish projects, will also have the opportunity to work in other Ørsted ventures, e.g. in the USA or Taiwan.
– We are thinking about training employees for other markets, as there are few specialists in the industry worldwide – Jensen pointed out.
Ørsted has in-house engineers covering various areas from electromechanics through design, running procurement processes to construction management and process optimisation. The whole group employs around 2,000 engineers, out of a total workforce of over 6,000. According to the company, engaging Polish specialists is one of the ways to expand the share of the so-called value chain for offshore wind energy.
The Danish company is one of the signatories of the Polish offshore sector deal, which stipulates spending 20-30 per cent of the investment budget in Poland. This applies to projects developed as part of the first phase, including the Baltica offshore wind farm under construction by PGE and Ørsted.
In the next round, in which Ørsted joined forces with ZE PAK, the share levels of the so-called local content are much higher – reaching 40-50 per cent. However, according to the company, this may prove more difficult to achieve unless Poland attracts investment from major Tier I component suppliers.
As Ørsted states, there are several Tier I suppliers in Poland, i.e. manufacturers of major components – turbines, foundations, ships, power substations. There are also many lower-tier II suppliers, i.e. sub-suppliers, offering mainly steel and electromechanical components.
– Poland fulfils all the conditions for the main producers of the most important elements for Tier 1 wind farms to start investing in their factories here. We know, for example, that some manufacturers of turbines or tower foundations are considering investments in Poland – Jensen stressed.
Ørsted operates in more than a dozen markets: from the USA European countries to Asia. In addition to offshore wind farms, the company develops, builds and operates onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage and bioelectric power plants.