ORLEN Group with new in-house capabilities for offshore wind

The ORLEN Group company LOTOS Petrobaltic has equipped Poland’s first vessel with a drilling system for geoengineering seabed surveys at depths of up to 120 metres. As a result, the ORLEN Group will be able to undertake seabed surveys for wind power development supporting its own projects and providing services to external clients. The vessel will commence work under its first commercial contract in Lithuanian waters later in the first quarter of 2023.

– The energy transition could well become a driving force for the Polish economy. Offshore wind power will be an essential element of the process, providing not only stable supplies of clean energy to millions of Poles, but also creating thousands of jobs and generating new opportunities for local business. Seeking to fully harness that potential, we are working consistently on our own wind power projects. But we also invest to develop services for other companies engaged in such projects, in Polish territorial waters and beyond. The fact that we can do so by leveraging the capabilities of the newly acquired LOTOS Group perfectly demonstrates the synergies captured by building a multi-utility group – says Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

The drilling rig installed on Sylur is capable of performing offshore geotechnical surveys at depths of up to 120 metres, and of drilling into the seafloor up to 100 metres. The rig will allow LOTOS Petrobaltic to provide a full range of geotechnical services for the offshore wind industry. Seabed surveys are a key step in a wind farm design. They are critical to precisely understanding the seabed structure, which informs, among other things, the choice of foundations for the wind turbines.

– The new drilling equipment will replace the previously used rig, opening up new, more advanced applications in the offshore wind sector. With the newly installed rig, Sylur has become a unique vessel operating in the Baltic Sea region, fitting into the broad plans to develop offshore wind farms in Poland and the Baltics – adds Grzegorz Strzelczyk, President of the Management Board of LOTOS Petrobaltic.

Following the new system’s assembly and in-water tests, the ship will be dispatched to work at the future construction site of Lithuania’s first offshore wind farm. LOTOS Petrobaltic will act as a subcontractor of the consortium of Geobaltic and Garant Diving, which won a tender for the work from the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy. Drilling on the Lithuanian shelf of the Baltic Sea is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. It was preceded by preliminary geotechnical surveys of the seabed, which the company performed in August 2022. To date, the company has also carried out work in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea – in the Słupsk Shoal area – and around the UK coast – at the Thanet Wind Farm (Thames Estuary) and Gwynt-Y-Mor Farm (Liverpool Bay).

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