Poland's PKN, Canada's Northland to develop Baltic wind project

WARSAW, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Poland’s state-run oil refiner PKN Orlen has partnered with Canada’s Northland Power to jointly develop a 1.2 gigawatt offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, PKN said on Friday.

Poland is pushing development of offshore wind in its future energy mix, complemented by solar and nuclear energy, with the European Union pressing it to cut carbon emissions.

The Polish Baltic Sea region has been attracting foreign investors as local companies seek international expertise and experience. Private energy firm Polenergia is working with Equinor, while state-run PGE is in talks with Orsted on a joint project.

PKN Orlen said the joint venture agreement was signed between its Baltic Power company and Northland Power’s unit registered in Amsterdam. Northland Power will ultimately reach a 49% stake in Baltic Power.

Construction will start in 2023 and it is expected to come into operation in 2026. Based on the agreement, in 2021 Northland Power will invest around 290 million zlotys ($77.94 million) in Baltic Power.

“The combination of our local experience... and Northland Power’s global know-how, will allow us to quickly and efficiently implement the next stages of the investment,” PKN Orlen Chief Executive Daniel Obajtek said in a statement.

Poland expects to have its first offshore wind farm in 2025 and sees total wind capacity in the Baltic Sea at around 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2040. ($1 = 3.7206 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko Editing by Frances Kerry)