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Orlen Group to start ecological and engineering research for offshore wind power development by April

The Orlen Group’s LOTOS Petrobaltic has equipped the first ship in Poland with a drilling system for geological and engineering research at a depth of up to 120 metres, the company announced on 21 February 2023.

The Polish multi-utility energy company will now be able to conduct research on the seabed for offshore wind farms, both as part of its own projects and for external entities. The ship will start its first commercial operations in Lithuanian waters by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

“The energy transformation has a chance to become a driving force of the Polish economy. Its important element will be offshore wind energy, providing not only stable, clean energy to millions of Poles, but also creating thousands of jobs and giving new opportunities to domestic companies. We want to fully use this potential, which is why we consistently implement our own wind projects,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN Orlen.

“We also invest in services for other companies implementing projects not only in Polish territorial waters. The use of the competencies of the acquired Grupa LOTOS for this purpose perfectly demonstrates the synergies created as a result of building a multi-energy concern,” he added

The drilling rig installed by LOTOS Petrobaltic on the Sylur vessel enables offshore geotechnical surveys up to 120 metres deep, as well as drilling holes under the seabed up to 100 metres deep. In particular, the device will provide comprehensive geotechnical services for the offshore wind energy sector. 

Seabed research is a key stage in the wind farm design process, with the research results enabling precise examination of the seabed’s structure. For instance, this is required for choosing the right type of foundations on which the wind turbines will ultimately stand.

“The new drilling equipment will replace the previously used drilling rig and opens up new, more advanced applications for us in the offshore wind sector. The investment makes our Sylur vessel a unique vessel in the Baltic Sea region and is part of the broad plans for the development of offshore wind farms in Poland and the Baltic States,” said Grzegorz Strzelczyk, President of the Management Board of LOTOS Petrobaltic.

Following the assembly and sea tests of the new system, the Sylur vessel will make its way to the area intended for the future construction of the first Lithuanian offshore wind farm. LOTOS Petrobaltic is a subcontractor to a consortium of the Geobaltic and Garant Diving companies, which won a tender announced by the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy for the offshore wind farm project.

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