The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (TEM) has granted Ilmatar Offshore a research permit for two areas in Finland’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The areas cover approximately 700 square kilometers in total.
“In order to secure long-term value chains, domestic operators must be able to use offshore wind power developed in Finland’s EEZ areas”, says Ilmatar’s new CEO Juha-Pekka Weckström.
The granted permit applies to two areas, one of which is located approximately 30 kilometers from Jakobstad and the other approximately 70 kilometers southwest of Vaasa. Ilmatar Offshore has previously announced that these projects have been temporarily suspended. However, after the granting of the research permit, the development will now continue and these areas are given an official project status.
“These areas are absolutely still of interest to us. The permitting procedure in the EEZ areas is still unclear, but we know that the principle ‘first come, first served’ does not apply here. Obtaining a research permit or presenting a completed environmental impact assessment does not give priority”, says Anna Häger, Regional Manager at Ilmatar Offshore.
Juha-Pekka Weckström has recently been appointed CEO of Ilmatar and is looking forward to leading the company’s proactive venture into offshore wind power.
“It should be self-evident, and it is also in Finland’s interest, that domestic operators operate in Finland’s EEZ areas. That is the only way to ensure long-term value development and joint development work with the Finnish industry”, he says.
“Ilmatar is a leading operator that has many times deviated from the established customs. For example, we were the first in the Nordic countries to build wind farms on land completely unsubsidised. Now, we are taking a strategic step in becoming the leading independent power producer (IPP) in the Nordic countries.”
The projects outside the Ostrobothnia’s coastal waters have been named ‘Voima’ and ‘Norrskär’ by Ilmatar, and the areas cover 323 and 389 square kilometres, respectively. It is too early to predict the number of turbines and the installed capacity, but the preconditions are very good. The areas are not too deep and the wind conditions are good. In addition, there is export potential to nearby areas where the need for green energy is growing.
“As part of Finland’s ambitious climate goals to become carbon neutral by 2035, all areas with good preconditions for offshore wind power must be valuated. As a Finnish operator, we want to be involved in developing offshore wind power in our home country. We are now proceeding with tenders for seabed surveys and environmental impact assessments in these areas and plan to start work as soon as the sea conditions allow”, Anna Häger says.
Regional Manager, Ilmatar Offshore AB
+358 40 14 67 221
+358 400 564 754
Finland’s exclusive economic zone
Finland’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is not Finnish territory, but rather an international sea area where Finland has the right, among other things, to research, utilise and manage water areas as well as to carry out other activities with the aim of the economic exploitation of water areas or for research purposes. Finland also has the right to maritime transport and overflights in the area as and to lay underwater cables and pipes in the area. In addition, Finland has jurisdiction over, among other things, the protection and preservation of the marine environment in the EEZ areas.