During an investigation into the Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions, journalists from The Washington Post sought expert advice from Krzysztof Stopierzyski, the CEO of Baltic Diving Solutions. This reflects the level of appreciation the Polish company has earned, an outstanding reputation that extends far beyond national borders.
From oil and gas to renewables
Founded in 2014, Baltic Diving Solutions has grown on the solid foundation of its team's international background in the offshore industry. "As employees in the oil and gas sector, we gained experience in numerous projects in this industry. We worked in West Africa, the Caspian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and especially in the North Sea. We participated in projects related to the construction of the first Danish offshore wind farms. From that moment on, we were increasingly involved in tasks related to offshore wind infrastructure installation in various countries. In Germany, we worked on substation foundations, in the UK on jackets, and in the Netherlands on export cables," recalls Krzysztof Stopierzynski.
The emergence of offshore wind in Europe has provided Polish entrepreneurs with promising prospects. When wind farms were first built, they primarily required shallow water, sandy seabed, making it obvious that the Baltic Sea would soon become a site for similar projects. It was not a matter of "if," but of "when." Stopierzyński saw this as a chance to leverage his expertise. The decisive impulse to start his own business came during the oil crisis. The sharp drop in oil prices and subsequent issues with work continuity in the O&G industry prompted him to establish Baltic Diving Solutions.
Evolution and breakthrough projects
Commercial diving services were the company's original focus but it evolved, and today they provide offshore wind farm maintenance, fleet services, marine infrastructure inspections, and project management. BDS specializes is the provision of comprehensive technical support for projects related to renewable energy, the oil and gas industry, and marine civils engineering.
From the very start, the company pursued extraordinary and ambitious projects. In their debut as Baltic Diving Solutions, they were involved as a subcontractor in the construction of the FPF1 semisubmersible North Sea platform at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk. Later, the company became involved in marine vessel class inspections, collaborating closely with classification societies. Inspection work in Poland, Germany, and Sweden became an integral part of their operations. An ecologically significant task was entrusted by WWF - the cleanup of abandoned fishing gear and nets in the Polish and German Baltic Sea sectors. In addition to improving marine quality of life, this initiative solidified the company's sense of doing something meaningful for the environment.
Another significant milestone was when the consortium of DEME and Van Oord engaged Baltic Diving Solutions for the dredging project on the fairway of the Port of Szczecin-Swinoujście. "It was then that our offshore wind Tier 1 clients pushed us beyond our comfort zone and into new areas of activity," explains the CEO. Over time, BDS's expansion covered the entire Baltic Sea region. This manifested itself in the realization of a project in Lithuania for Jan De Nul and DEME – the first major infrastructure project outside Polish waters.
Shipping ambitions and investments
One of the most significant challenges facing the offshore wind energy industry in Poland remains the shortage of dedicated vessels. Having recognized this issue several years ago and developing its business with imagination and boldness, BDS decided to establish its own fleet. Investing in this area began with the Baltic Messenger. It was purchased during the UXO project, intended for crew transfer and safe transport of recovered UXOs. Later, the company acquired the Baltic Jet - the first service catamaran for the offshore wind industry in Poland. It was employed in numerous projects, including the dredging of the Szczecin-Swinoujście fairway for DEME and Van Oord.
Its flagship vessel, the dynamically positioned Baltic Surveyor, was added to the fleet last year, along with the class ROV Saab Seaeye Falcon. "The Baltic Surveyor is a marine laboratory, a hydrographic machine capable of performing most survey, measurement, and environmental studies; this is just a fraction of its advanced capabilities," explains Stopierzynski. Surveyor made its debut during the operation and maintenance of wind farms on the east coast of the United Kingdom. After that, it was successfully mobilized for several major infrastructure projects in the Baltic Sea. These included environmental studies for Polish offshore wind farms. It was also assigned tasks related to the Gdansk FSRU terminal construction.
Maintaining their own fleet keeps BDS in the lead of the industry in Poland. This enables further development and meets the needs of the rapidly growing sector. Currently, the company is considering a fourth vessel. "We continuously evaluate the market and identify several niches with potential to be fulfilled," says the CEO.
Global relations, local potential
The company has also been recognized and appreciated at prestigious industry events throughout the world. "The Pomerania Development Agency has prepared a very interesting program, The Pomeranian Export Broker, which allows local companies to participate in international trade fairs and conferences. Additionally, the Agency has demonstrated its support by enlisting us in numerous media events and inviting us to participate in discussions," acknowledges Stopierzyski. BDS has already showcased its rich skill set at Subsea Expo in Aberdeen, took part in WindEurope in Bilbao, Wind Energy in Hamburg, and exhibited at the economic mission to the USA linked to the IPF fair in Baltimore and the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. This year, they qualified for the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle.
Baltic Diving Solutions is not waiting for the offshore sector, it originates from it. They have set the highest standards on the market since the company was founded nearly ten years ago. They have fully utilized international know-how. BDS's impressive track record demonstrates the team's excellent competencies and professional attitude towards project delivery.
Building OWF developers' trust in Polish companies can be a challenging undertaking. Krzysztof Stopierzynski, however, believes that the local content has a great deal of potential, as evidenced by his company's numerous successes. BDS's determination, global recognition, and ability to realize innovative international projects inspire hope for overriding hesitation to contract directly with domestic entities. Eventually, Baltic Diving Solutions vision is to become not only a recognized subcontractor but also a direct project contractor for Phase I and Phase II projects.Their perseverance and commitment can open up new possibilities for the entire Polish maritime industry, driving its further growth and development.
Diving into offshore excellence
With an eye on the future, BDS continues to invest in its fleet and explore new markets and niches. The company's ambition, adaptability, and willingness to push boundaries make it a valuable asset in the ever-evolving energy landscape. As the global demand for renewable energy and sustainable practices intensifies, Baltic Diving Solutions is well-positioned to contribute to the success and growth of the offshore sector, both in Poland and internationally.
Baltic Diving Solutions is a success story in the Polish offshore sector, proving that dedication, expertise, and a global outlook can lead to significant achievements. As the company continues to expand its capabilities and fleet, its potential for driving further growth and development remains bright.