Project logistics in the Baltic region is mostly concentrated on local or joint European infrastructure and energy projects – with self-sufficiency top of the agenda, writes Megan Ramsay.

“Development activity in the region at the moment is directed towards increasing its independence from other countries – or at least to diversify its dependence – in all areas, including energy, transport connections, supplies and even raw materials,” said Roman Vanags, project manager and partner at Eleven Danir 19. 

Energy appears to be the main area of focus, particularly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – although the Baltic Pipe that transports natural gas from the Norwegian shelf via Denmark and through the Baltic Sea to Poland, and which opened in September 2022, is just one illustration that the region’s intention to diversify energy supplies away from Russia dates back some years.

In August 2022, eight countries surrounding the Baltic Sea signed the Marienborg Declaration, under which they will cooperate to “phase out our dependency on Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible while contributing to climate neutrality in the European Union (EU)”.

In the short term, the signatories will increase the quantity of fuel imported by sea, including LNG and liquefied biogas, through the EU Energy Platform. They will invest in ports, LNG terminals and other infrastructure to facilitate this.

In addition, the declaration states: “The Baltic Sea holds a substantial [93 GW] but largely untapped potential for offshore wind, which can accelerate the phase-out of Russian energy by replacing fossil fuels through for example electrification, increasing renewable fuels, diversifying and decarbonising gas networks, increased sector integration and a green hydrogen economy, including necessary transmission and pipeline infrastructure.”

”The Baltic Sea holds a substantial [93 GW] but largely untapped potential for offshore wind, which can accelerate the phase-out of Russian energy by replacing fossil fuels.” – Marienborg Declaration 

The countries are aiming to develop a combined total of at least 19.6 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 – seven times the capacity at the time of signing.

WindEurope observed: “Germany and Denmark are the only Baltic countries with large-scale wind farms in the Baltic Sea and they are determined to further increase their capacity.

“The other countries are eager to follow soon. Poland wants to have 6 GW by 2030 and 11 GW by 2040. Finland wants to have its first large-scale wind farm online by 2026-2027 and another one by 2028. In Sweden, 15 GW of projects are currently applying for permits. Some could be online before 2030. And Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all want to commission their first offshore wind farms before 2030 too.”

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Wind auction winner

Just recently, Lithuania announced the winner of its first offshore wind auction. A consortium of the Ignitis Group and Ocean Winds spent EUR20 million (USD21.8 million) to secure the right to develop the 700 MW project, which is expected to be operational by 2030.

Ignitis will also bid with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ (CIP) New Markets Fund I on offshore wind opportunities in Estonia and Latvia.

Cross-border projects are a vital component of the region’s strategy to ensure energy security, as set out in the Baltic energy market interconnection plan (BEMIP). The primary objective of BEMIP is to achieve an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between EU countries in the Baltic Sea region. Its members are Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Sweden; Norway participates as an observer.

According to the European Commission: “The key electricity infrastructure projects, such as Estlink 1 and 2, Nordbalt and the LitPol Link, connecting the three Baltic States with Finland, Sweden and Poland respectively, significantly improved the Baltic countries’ integration in the EU energy market and their security of supply.

“Further efforts are ongoing in the region to complete the synchronisation of the three Baltic States with European networks by February 2025, increase transmission capacity in the remote Nordic area, develop a regional gas market, work towards the decarbonisation of the gas systems in the region and make the most of the region’s energy efficiency and renewable energy potential, both onshore and offshore.”

One example of a successful cross-border offshore wind project is the 605 MW Kriegers Flak wind farm, developed by Germany and Denmark. Located off the Danish coast in the Baltic Sea, Kriegers Flak is interconnected with the nearby German wind farm Baltic II.

More recently, German electricity transmission system operator 50Hertz and Estonia’s Elering have agreed in principle on a joint hybrid submarine cable project called Baltic WindConnector in the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Germany. Via the hybrid interconnector, wind farms will feed into a transmission grid that can also be used for electricity trading.

Point-to-point connections

In May this year the first Baltic Energy Island Summit took place on the Danish island of Bornholm.

Stefan Kapferer, ceo of 50Hertz, remarked that the project “paves the way for a future in which offshore wind energy will no longer be accessed exclusively by individual countries via point-to-point connections”.

Instead, electricity produced offshore will flow according to demand via offshore DC grids.

“The Bornholm Energy Island project will also be used for electricity to be traded between Germany and Denmark. This is economically viable and will increase both countries’ security of supply under new geopolitical circumstances,” Kapferer said.

Around Bornholm, there are currently plans for projects totalling 6.9 GW of offshore wind energy. “That is equivalent to the total amount of land and offshore wind in Denmark today,” said Søren Møller Christensen, interim ceo of the Baltic Energy Island foundation and consortium. “Together with the transformer station, power-to-X (PtX) plants and cable connections, the projects represent investments of more than DKK125 billion (USD18.3 billion).

“Additionally, the large PtX project proposed by CIP and Ørsted with offshore wind from two fields is also innovative,” he continued. “The size of 3 GW has not been tested before, and the large amount of excess heat from the plant provides an opportunity to develop technologies and industries that can utilise the energy that is lost in electrolysis.”

Møller Christensen added: “Bornholm is strategically well positioned relative to a high demand for gas in Germany, which can be supplied with green hydrogen from Bornholm and from future wind farms and energy islands in the Baltic Sea.”

H2 Interconnector Bornholm-Lubmin is scheduled to bring hydrogen from Bornholm to Lubmin from 2027, said Gascade, which will develop the 140 km pipeline with CIP’s dedicated CI Energy Transition Fund as a potential financial investor. The Danish transmission system operator Energinet is also involved in the project. The interconnector will have a capacity of 10 GW by the 2030s.

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”Closely collaborating with other EMS-Fehn-Group companies, EFG Finland, among other things, develops sophisticated transport solutions for various types of project cargoes”  – Dominic Sleur, EMS-Fehn-Group 

In addition to the direct connection between Denmark and Germany, there are intentions to connect H2 with a future Baltic Sea offshore “backbone” to Sweden and Finland, Gascade said.

Rising demand

Clearly, confidence in the region is high, and that extends to project logistics providers, too. Responding to rising demand in the Baltic Sea region, Germany-headquartered EMS-Fehn-Group established EFG Finland in February 2023, said the group’s chief operating officer Dominic Sleur.

“Closely collaborating with other EMS-Fehn-Group companies, EFG Finland, among other things, develops sophisticated transport solutions for various types of project cargoes,” Sleur said, noting that a substantial proportion of these movements are being conducted on behalf of the wind industry.

“The renewable energy sector has been one of the driving forces behind the rise in demand for transport solutions in the Baltic region and we are optimistic that this development will continue over the next years,” he said.

“We make use of our own vessels and trucks to transport wind farm equipment, and the high-performance cranes we operate have contributed to the installation of literally hundreds of wind turbines, mostly in Sweden and Finland, but also in the Baltic states,” Sleur confirmed, mentioning too that the company creates plans for shipping wind farm equipment on barges across the Baltic Sea.

Last year, deugro and dteq Transport Engineering Solutions (dteq) collaborated in delivering eight pin piles from Bilbao in Spain to Vlissingen, the Netherlands, as part of Iberdrola’s second major offshore wind project – the 476 MW Baltic Eagle wind farm, located off Rügen Island in the Baltic Sea.

In March this year, Heerema Marine Contractors installed the 4,200-tonnne substation topside at Baltic Eagle, using its installation vessel Thalif.

Load out of the monopiles – which were produced in Rostock by Germany’s EEW SPC – began in April 2023, with Van Oord deploying its 8,000-tonne heavy lift installation vessel Svanen. Its Nexus vessel and the Dig-It trencher will be used to lay the cables between the various assemblies, Iberdrola said.


The project is a EUR1.6 billion (USD1.7 billion) co-investment between Iberdrola and UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar. Commissioning is set for the end of 2024 and the facility will be connected to the Lubmin onshore wind farm via two high-voltage subsea cables, each measuring 90 km.

Baltic Eagle is Iberdrola’s second large offshore initiative in Germany, after the commissioning of the Wikinger offshore wind farm (350 MW) at the end of 2017. The company is also developing Wikinger Süd, a 10 MW offshore facility in Germany.

“These three wind farms, located next to the island of Rügen, will give rise to the largest offshore wind complex in the Baltic Sea, with a total installed capacity of 836 MW and a joint investment of EUR2.5 billion (USD2.7 billion),” Iberdrola said.

In addition, the company has submitted a bid for the construction of a new farm in the Baltic Sea, Windanker, with the idea of expanding this hub to more than 1 GW by the end of 2026.

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Located in Herning, Middle Jutland, close to the booming wind energy industry and its turbine manufacturers, deugro Denmark was founded two decades ago, since when the team has successfully completed 214 wind energy projects in over 40 countries, the Baltic Sea region being a key focus.

One highlight during the last 20 years was the development of the Rotra concept for the wind energy industry which involves tailor-made sister vessels Rotra Mare and Rotra Vente, each with a special ro-ro and gantry system.

The first vessel, Rotra Vente, was delivered to Esbjerg, Denmark, in 2016. The ship soon began transferring components from various wind turbine production facilities to installation harbours in the North and Baltic Seas.

Both Rotra Mare and Rotra Vente have since been modified to enable them to carry larger loads. In May 2023, deugro announced the construction of two newbuild Rotra vessels in cooperation with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Amasus Offshore.

Charter agreement

Rotra Futura and Rotra Horizon will also be customised for transporting offshore wind turbine components. Siemens Gamesa and deugro have entered into a long-term charter agreement for the vessels, which will be built at China’s Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard and delivered in the spring and summer of 2025.

The newbuilds have been designed to accommodate the increasing size and weight of offshore wind turbine components. They will be fitted with a stern ro-ro ramp, three Liebherr cranes and a gantry system – which will no doubt serve them well as offshore wind energy projects develop in the Baltic Sea.

Sea ports have undergone continuous improvement as they adapt to changing demands. Rønne Harbour, for instance, has built up the capacity to be a leading offshore installation port in the Baltic Sea, further enhancing Bornholm’s “unique opportunity to become the green centre of the Baltic Sea and a European hub for testing and innovating green technologies”, in Møller Christensen’s view.

Klaipeda is another example. The Lithuanian port is transforming itself from a cargo, shipbuilding and repair base to an energy port. The first step of its strategy is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swiss methanol supplier Proman for the planning, design and implementation of methanol bunkering and the potential development of a methanol-to-power project for shoreside power in or near the port.

Klaipeda has already established itself as a hub for the LNG industry, with the FSRU Independence having been up and running there since 2014, Lithuania being the first European country to totally wean itself off Russian energy. Local oil and gas terminal operator Klaipedos Nafta is set to acquire the unit by the end of 2024 when its current lease terminates.

Speaking at the Klaipeda Manifesto Blue Economy Conference 2022, Romana Hartke, senior business development manager at Aker Offshore Wind, described the Independence as “a great showcase for international investors who recognise that Klaipeda is willing to go the whole way in developing as an offshore wind hub, as it has done in LNG”.

A gas interconnector linking Poland and Lithuania (GIPL) was formally commissioned in May 2022, boosting energy security in the region by connecting the Baltic, Finnish and Polish markets. The interconnector allows Lithuanian LNG to flow to Poland and increases the possibilities of using the Klaipeda LNG terminal in Lithuania and the Swinoujscie LNG Terminal in Poland, the European Commission said.

The GIPL project follows the completion of the Balticconnector and the Estonian-Latvian interconnector, which ensured the integration of Finland into the internal gas market, it added.

In terms of recent developments in traditional energies, heavy lift specialist Mammoet was awarded the contract for the transportation of an 1,800-tonne reactor for Orlen’s new Lietuva facility in north-west Lithuania.

The 150 km move from the port of Klaipeda to the Mazeikiai refinery was set to take place in August, as this report was under way. Orlen Lietuva general director Michal Rudnicki said the EUR550 million (USD601 million) facility marks one of the largest private Polish investments into the country, and the delivery of the reactor “marks the largest milestone in the construction of the new hydrocracking facility”.

Poland invests

Late last year, deugro coordinated the transport of 120,000 freight tons of petrochemical equipment on behalf of its client Hyundai Engineering from South Korea and China to Police, Poland, for the EGAT project (Poland’s largest petrochemical plant construction project).

The forwarder itself loaded 249 pieces of cargo weighing 2,091 tonnes onboard Spliethoff’s Pietersgracht at the ports of Gunsan and Masan, South Korea. In all, 40 pieces of equipment, totalling 2,000 tonnes, were also loaded onboard Jumbo Jubilee in Zhangjiagang, China. This shipment included a propylene propane splitter weighing 889 tonnes and measuring 96 m x 9.35 m x 8.9 m. Other cargoes handled by deugro include propylene storage bullets and a 596-tonne reactor.

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More recently, in March this year, AsstrA Industrial Project Logistics (IPL) moved a wash tower measuring 94.42 m x 8.00 m x 7.87 m and weighing 827 tonnes from Spain to Gdansk for an oil and gas project in Plock. The wash tower was the largest item in a package that totalled 1,032 tonnes. Units were loaded on to Jumbo’s Fairmaster at Bilbao and Gijon using the vessel’s cranes, then transported to Gdansk where they were discharged to river barges, again using the ship’s own gear.

Nuclear power projects are also on the up. For instance, Poland is to develop between 6-9 GW of nuclear capacity, starting with three reactors at Lubiatowo-Kopalino in the north of the country.

Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe got the green light for the 1,250 MW plant on July 12; construction by a US consortium of Westinghouse and Bechtel is slated to begin in 2026.

“The Polish government consistently pursues the energy transition, strengthening Poland’s energy security at the same time,” said minister Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, secretary of state in the chancellery of the prime minister, government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure.

“To achieve this, we are executing a number of projects concurrently, such as extension of the power transmission grid, diversification of gas supply sources to Poland, execution of investment projects for offshore wind power or consistent implementation of the Polish nuclear power programme,” she added.

Infrastructure projects

In order to support its investments in power generation, the Polish government’s multi-year investment programme will fund several infrastructure projects to facilitate the transportation of components, such as reactor vessels and steam generators, as well as equipment and construction materials. “A new railway line, a new national road and marine offloading facility for unloading components for the construction of the power plant, which will arrive by sea, are the three essential investment projects we need to complete for the power plant to be built,” said Andrzej Adamczyk, infrastructure minister.

The marine facility will be delivered by the Maritime Office in Gdynia and will remain in place as part of Poland’s infrastructure after the nuclear plant is completed. The total spend on the marine facility, railway line and road is expected to be PLN4.7 billion (USD1.2 billion).

Also in Gdynia, Langowski Logistics has opened a transhipment yard dedicated to abnormal cargoes. Located at the Bulgarian Quay Area in the port of Gdynia, the yard is near the company’s warehouse as well as the Baltic Container Terminal and Gdynia Container Terminal. It has a total area of 8,000 sq m and will soon include a 3,000 sq m storage tent.

”The Polish government consistently pursues the energy transition, strengthening Poland’s energy security at the same time. – Anna Łukaszewska”-Trzeciakowska, secretary of state, Poland 

Other members of the project logistics community are gearing up for increased activity in Poland, too – particularly in the offshore wind energy sector, which is gaining momentum there just as it is elsewhere around the Baltic Sea.

New terminal

Poland’s Szczecin and Swinoujscie Seaports Authority (ZMPSiS) and Orlen Neptun, Orlen’s offshore wind energy development company, are building a terminal in Swinoujscie that will support the installation of offshore wind farms.

The work includes the construction of two new quays as well as the deepening of the fairway from Mielenska to the terminal. There will also be new storage areas for towers, blades and nacelles, covering approximately 17 ha.

Each of the two berths will allow for the pre-assembly of wind turbine towers over 100 m high and weighing approximately 1,000 tonnes each. The 250 m long berths will be able to accommodate the largest specialist jack-up vessels available today.

ZMPSiS expects the terminal will be used for the installation of components of the Baltic Power project, and then for the implementation of further investments in the Baltic Sea. The terminal is expected to become operational at the turn of 2024 and 2025.