The topping-out, symbolizing the
construction of the highest point of the facility, was hanged on
Thursday (September 15) on the construction site of the Offshore
Centre of Gdynia Maritime University, which is being built in
Gdańsk near the Wisłoujście Fortress.
The tradition of hanging a panicle, i.e. a wreath decorated with flowers and ribbons, dates back to the 14th century. It is to symbolize the completion of construction works.
- This is a dress rehearsal before what will happen next year, when we will open the UMG Offshore Centre, to which the Maritime Institute will be relocated - said Prof. dr hab.inż. Capt. z.w. Adam Weintrit, rector of the Gdynia Maritime University. - The place to be built here will be a research and educational base for the domestic offshore wind energy sector.
The investment is at the second stage of construction. - We have completed reinforced concrete and masonry construction works and the assembly of the steel structure in the warehouse - said Jakub Nagraba, director of the General Construction Division of Budimex S.A., the contractor of the project.
Currently, window joinery and aluminum display windows are also being installed, and the installation of sanitary installations is in progress.
The building will house state-of-the-art certified laboratories where comprehensive research for the maritime industry will be carried out. Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Grzegorz Witkowski, emphasized that offshore energy would not exist without qualified personnel, and the resulting investment would contribute to this.
- Providing staff for offshore is a big challenge - said Witkowski. - Without specialists educated in Poland, we will not be able to cope with this task. UMG Offshore Centre will be a great place, and today we have a historic day for the Maritime University.
The UMG Offshore Center will also be the seat of the Offshore Wind Energy Center of the UMG, which will support the offshore sector by educating managerial staff, providing modern industry knowledge and integrating the offshore wind energy environment.
On the other hand, Leszek Bonna, Deputy Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, emphasized that renewable energy sources are an opportunity for the region.
- As a local government, we initiated the establishment of the Pomeranian Platform for the Development of Offshore Wind Energy in the Baltic Sea already two years ago - he reminded, adding that its role is to support the process of establishing wind farms, but also to support entrepreneurs, scientific and research units and regional universities in the investment process. - I would like to emphasize that the rector of UMG was one of the first signatories of our platform.
Signing a contract with PGE Baltica
An element of the ceremonial topping out was also the symbolic signing of an agreement with PGE Baltica regarding environmental research for the Baltica 1 offshore wind farm project, which will be launched after 2030 and will have a capacity of approx. 0.9 GW.
The research for PGE Baltica will be carried out by a consortium of Gdynia Maritime University and MEWO SA.
- We are talking about a significant scope of research that will be carried out by an experienced partner with the potential, knowledge and skills to carry out these works - Grzegorz Wysocki, Vice President of the Management Board of PGE Baltica told us. - Ultimately, we are striving to obtain an environmental decision for the construction of another wind farm in the Baltic Sea.
The vice president emphasized the role of cooperation with the university in Gdynia. - We do not want the Polish local contribution to the development of offshore wind energy to be just something from the dream zone. We are already carrying out these activities, among others by signing contracts with Polish companies and universities, putting great emphasis on the inclusion of Polish entities in the development of our offshore wind farms.
- We must be aware that offshore is a huge scale of investments. Let me remind you that our other projects, Baltica 2 and Baltica 3, represent over PLN 30 billion of investments in the entire infrastructure - added Vice President Wysocki.
Rector Weintrit added that the dynamic development of wind energy may turn out to be a flywheel for the university, but also for many areas of the national economy.
- The contract signed with PGE Baltica is one of the largest in the history of the university. We will be able to take full advantage of the extensive competences and experience of the university staff - he concluded.