On the third day of his visit to Poland, King Frederick X of Denmark participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Vestas Assembly Poland offshore wind turbine nacelle and hub assembly plant in Szczecin.
King Frederick X has been visiting Poland since Wednesday. In Warsaw, he met with President Andrzej Duda, the Speaker of the Sejm (lower house of the Polish parliament) Szymon Hołownia, and the Speaker of the Senate (the upper house of the parliament) Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska.
The main purpose of the king's visit is economic cooperation. On Thursday, the monarch arrived in Szczecin, where the Danish Vestas will soon launch its factories.
On Thursday evening, Frederick X took part in the ceremony at the Szczecin Philharmonic. The king was welcomed by the mayor of the city, Piotr Krzystek. During the official dinner, the Honorary Badge of the West Pomeranian Griffin was also presented to the honorary consul of the Kingdom of Denmark, Andrzej Preiss.
During Friday's opening ceremony of the factory, welcome speeches were given by: CEO of Vestas Henrik Andersen, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities Lars Aagaard, Polish Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Ignacy Niemczycki, Polish Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Arkadiusz Marchewka and Director General of the Danish Chamber of Commerce Brian Mikkelsen.
– This is a great day for Szczecin, for the entire Western Pomerania. The investor, Vestas, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, decides to locate the investment in Szczecin. This is a great opportunity for economic development for the city and the region, to create new jobs and to start activities that will simply serve to build wind farms in the Baltic Sea – emphasized Marchewka.
The focal point of the event was the laying of the foundation stone in the presence of His Majesty Frederick X.
Then, the West Pomeranian Voivode, Adam Rudnicki, handed over an official building permit.
– This morning I signed the location decision, consent to the spatial development plan and consent to expand the factory where we are today – said the voivode.
The Vestas Manufacturing Poland factory located on the island of Ostrów Brdowski is scheduled to open in 2025. It is expected to provide 700 new jobs on the local market.
Vestas has the ambition to become a leader in the offshore wind turbine market and support the development of the European offshore wind sector. At the beginning of January, the company announced plans to build a second factory in Szczecin, which will produce blades for their flagship V236-15.0 MW model. The start of operations is scheduled for 2026, which is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs.
Both factories are intended to support not only the European market, but to some extent also the global market. By expanding its existing operations in Poland, Vestas intends to increase the number of employees in the country to a total of over 2,500 people.
However, Nils de Baar, president of Vestas for Northern and Central Europe, in an interview with GospodarkaMorska.pl pointed out that the opening of factories is important not only for the Polish market. From here, others will also be supplied.
– We are focusing on the offshore market, which is starting in Poland in the Baltic Sea, but also if we look at the North Sea, this factory will be of great importance – said de Baar, pointing out that it is in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea that the greatest growth of the offshore wind industry is expected at the end of the decade.
Other guests supporting the development of offshore wind energy were also present at the event, including: Janusz Gajowiecki, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association, who emphasized the importance of both factories for the entire market.
– We have been developing the supply chain for onshore wind energy for many years. Today we see that there is a real chance for Poland to become a center of industrial development for offshore wind energy. And the best example is today's announcement of the opening of the Vestas factory, which will be an assembly plant for the world's largest 15-megawatt turbines, and possibly even larger ones in the future, Gajowiecki said. – We are also looking at Vestas' announcement from the perspective of the other side of Szczecin, where there will be a factory that will supply the world's largest blades for offshore wind farms. These two factories are just the beginning. Today, the West Pomeranian region is gaining a strategic investor who will also attract other sub-suppliers to Szczecin – said Gajowiecki, predicting that in the immediate vicinity of the Vestas factory in Szczecin, another 10-20 centers will have to be established, which will constitute its base and ensure production continuity.
Poland is Denmark's ninth export market. There are approximately 700 companies with Danish capital operating in Poland. At the same time, the relations between both countries are important in the context of maritime economy. The joint investment included, among others: Baltic Pipe gas pipeline.