Vestas plans Polish offshore wind factory

Vestas plans to build a new factory in north-west Poland where it will assemble nacelles and hubs for its V236-15.0MW offshore wind turbines.

Vestas plans to assemble nacelles and hubs for its V236-15.0MW turbine at the factory in Szczecin, Poland

The planned facility in Szczecin – a city on the Oder River, which leads to the Baltic Sea – could be Poland’s first offshore wind turbine factory.

Vestas plans to start operating the factory in the second half of 2024.

It expects the Szczecin plant to create between 600 and 700 direct jobs.

Vestas’ chief operating officer Tommy Rahbek Nielsen said: “Offshore wind has great prospects in Poland, and Vestas is proud to support the country in maximising its opportunities.”

It is unclear how much the factory will cost, how it will be funded, and where other turbine components destined for Vestas-supplied Polish offshore wind farms will be produced. It is also unclear whether components leaving the Szczecin plant can be transported up the Oder to the Baltic coast, or whether they will need to be transported by road.

Vestas’ announcement for Szczecin follows the Danish turbine maker being named preferred supplier for the 1140MW Baltic Power project being developed by PKN Orlen and Northland Power. It is due to supply 76 of its V236-15.0MW turbines for the project, support the designing of foundations, and service the turbines for 15 years.

In a simultaenous announcement, PKN Orlen stated that it would invest in an installation port in Świnoujście – up the rover Oder from Szczecin – where it will assemble Vestas' turbines from 2025.

Vestas stated that the Szczecin factory would support both domestic and global demand.

Poland currently lacks offshore wind capacity, but its Energy Regulatory Office contracted just over 5.9GW of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea last year.

It is also set to hold contracts for difference tenders in 2025 and 2027.

Beyond Poland, several Baltic Sea countries – including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden – are eyeing offshore wind development. Recently all Baltic Sea countries – bar Russia – agreed to work together to drive a massive increase in offshore wind capacity as Russia cuts off energy supplies to Europe.

Industry body WindEurope welcomed the announcement of Vestas and PKN Orlen’s plans, but warned that Europe will need many more investments in offshore wind facilities if the EU is to meet its target of 300GW capacity by 2050.

It stated: “There are already bottlenecks in the manufacturing capacity for the foundations of offshore turbines and in the availability of vessels to install them.”