A draft decree of the Minister of Infrastructure regarding, among other things, the requirements that companies investing in offshore wind farms must meet will exclude foreign and private companies from investing in offshore wind energy in Poland, according to the assessment of the Leviathan Consortium. He calls on employers to consult the draft regulation again and find a compromise.
The content of the regulation gives rewards to coal-based state energy companies for which it will be easier to obtain site permits, thus obtaining auction support for offshore wind farms. Dorota Zwadzka Stupnyak, director of the Department of Energy and Climate Change for Leviathan, said in the press release that external and private concerns that do not have cooperation agreements with state-owned enterprises will be affected.
Information published on July 27, 2021 about the second round of interministerial consultations for the draft regulation, which indicates that in the new version, the social side and business representatives were not consulted, there were requirements that may be difficult or impossible to meet by foreigners. Investors who have extensive knowledge and experience in implementing projects of similar size and scope, which de facto prevent them from participating in arbitration proceedings, thus excluding them from the investment process in offshore wind energy in Poland, the organization explains.
According to Loyatan, the Ministry of Infrastructure has abandoned the idea of rewarding expertise primarily in the implementation of complex projects in offshore areas. In addition to the standard related to the construction of offshore wind farms, other standards have been introduced related to experience in the construction of onshore wind farms, short-term pilot projects in the field of hydrocarbon production or implementation of energy storage.
“In our opinion, these criteria will not allow the selection of companies whose competencies guarantee the implementation of complex projects in offshore areas. They are associated with very specific risks, require specific knowledge and personnel, which cannot be collected only by implementing the investments indicated in the draft regulation”, added Zwadzka Stupnyak.
The proposed criteria should ensure that bidders with relevant expertise can bid. This goal would undoubtedly not be achieved if the experience gained outside the EU or EEA countries could not be used in arbitration proceedings, Loyatan points out.
As emphasized, the regulation presented appears to contradict the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community on the one hand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the other. and agreements on mutual investment support, including those concluded with the United States of America (between Poland and the United States of America) and Canada (between the European Union and Canada).
“Loyatan calls for submitting the draft regulation for public consultation again and to find consensus so that the minister in charge of marine economics at the presentation stage can choose the optimal solutions from among several competitive offers. In this way, the development of offshore wind energy will be beneficial to the economy and society” – he concluded the report.
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