April 17, 2024

EIA programme launched for Ilmatar’s largest offshore wind project, Bothnia

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) programme for Ilmatar’s largest offshore wind project, Bothnia, has been launched and the project proceeds to consultation phase. The EIA work is carried out in cooperation with Ramboll Finland.

Ilmatar´s Bothnia project is located in the Finnish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and is divided into two sub-areas, Bothnia and Bothnia West. During development, the areas have been optimized and thus reduced – Bothnia is now about half its original size, and Bothnia West has been reduced by about 40%.

– At this stage, we have chosen to proceed on areas with minimal overlap with other interests, such as shipping and fishing. We have also considered the depth conditions; the optimized project areas have a depth between 40 and 120 metres, says Jori Sihvonen, Ilmatar’s offshore project manager for the EEZ.

– This is the nature of the EIA process – you start big, and after thorough investigations, we end up with an optimized result since we have a better overview of a previously uncharted sea area and its surroundings. As an energy producer, we see this as an expected development. Future clean energy production needs to be developed responsibly. Thanks to our strong environmental legislation, the Nordics is an optimal place to do this, says Anna Häger, Regional Manager at Ilmatar.

Despite the optimization, Bothnia remains one of Finland’s largest offshore wind projects. Together, the two areas cover nearly 1.200 km2 and have a potential energy production capacity of 4 GW.
-Energy is the foundation of our modern society, as we have learnt the hard way in recent years. Ilmatar’s operations already have a positive climate impact, and the more renewable energy we produce, the faster other companies and industrial sectors can take steps towards greater sustainability. Electrification and the clean transition require a significant increase in renewable energy production, says Anna Häger.

With the launch of the EIA programme, the Bothnia project now enters its consultation phase, where the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) in Southwest Finland accepts statements and views from stakeholders, other authorities and the public. Documentation and instructions are available in Finnish and Swedish on the website of Finland’s environmental administration www.ymparisto.fi. The last date for submitting comments is 14 June 2024.

Open scoping consultations are organized in Rauma, Kristiinankaupunki and online.

Meeting details can be found at ilmatar.ax.