Poland’s Infrastructure Ministry on Tuesday gave final approval to Polish oil refiner Orlen for licences to build five offshore wind farm development sites in the Baltic Sea.

The decision marks the initiation of the project’s preparatory phase, the company said in a press statement. Four of the five proposed locations sit on the Oder Bank near the coastal city of Kołobrzeg, while the fifth is located on the Słupsk Bank off Poland’s coast. Cumulative output capacity of the five sites is expected to reach approximately 5.2GW.

The Slupsk Bank area connects to the site of the Baltic Power wind farm, a joint venture between Orlen and Canadian power producer Northland Power.

The Baltic Power project currently stands as the largest proposed offshore wind farm in Poland, with an expected capacity of 1.2GW. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, with electricity generation slated to start by 2026.

Of the government’s decision, Orlen CEO Daniel Obajtek said: “The Orlen Group is consolidating its position as a leader in the development of offshore wind farm projects in Poland. Leveraging our experience gained from the Baltic Power project, we are well-prepared to quickly and effectively initiate preparations for five additional offshore projects.

“We remain committed to launching the first wind farm in the Polish section of the Baltic Sea as per our initial plans. These subsequent projects are pivotal in bolstering Poland’s economic competitiveness and growth, centred on modern energy sources.

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By GlobalData

“Their successful execution will represent another stride towards enhancing Poland’s energy security and realising the Orlen Group’s ambition of achieving 9GW of installed renewable energy capacity by the end of the decade.”

The company has been expanding its offshore wind portfolio throughout this year. In July, it signed a conditional agreement with a Polish subsidiary of EDP Renewables to acquire three wind farms in the country.