22 Aug 2023 18:00

Ignitis ready to build first Baltic Sea wind farm by 2030, investment could reach 2 bln euro

VILNIUS. Aug 22 (Interfax) - The state-owned company Ignitis Grupe, if it wins the relevant tender, plans to start building the first wind farm in Lithuania in the Baltic Sea in 2026-2027 and complete it by 2030, Jonas Rimavicius, financial director of the group, said.

"As for the start of construction work, we expect that the final investment decisions will be made around 2026-2027, that is, by the start of construction. Completion of construction by 2028 is an ambitious deadline. We do not rule it out completely, but it is ambitious. Our goal is to complete construction by 2030," Rimavicius said at an online seminar for investors on Tuesday.

The Lithuanian Energy Ministry plans to launch a wind farm by 2028.

Ignitis Grupe in July announced a preliminary victory in the tender for the creation of a wind farm in the Baltic without state support. Group member Ignitis Renewables, together with international developer of offshore wind farms Ocean Winds, have offered the state a fee of 20 million euros for the right to develop the project. The official announcement of the winner of the competition is expected in early September.

The capacity of the wind farm will be 700 MW. According to Rimavicius, the project could cost around 2 billion euros, or 3 million euros per MW. The previously announced preliminary construction cost was 1.8 billion euros.

As noted by the group's CEO Darius Maikstenas, Ignitis Grupe will not participate in the second tender scheduled for autumn for the construction of auxiliary wind farms in Lithuania.

"The simultaneous implementation of two projects for the construction of offshore wind farms would be difficult in terms of financing and would lead to a decrease in the financial leverage ratio," Maikstenas said.

At the same time, he confirmed that Ignitis intends to implement two offshore wind farm projects - one in Lithuania, and the other - after 2030, with the start of commercial operation of the first wind farm, in any "home market" [Latvia, Estonia, Finland or Poland].

The main shareholder of Ignitis Grupe (formerly Lietuvos Energia) is the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania, which owns 73.08%, while 26.92% of shares are in free circulation. The holding operates in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Finland.