Offshore Wind Survey Turns Up Unknown Shipwreck off Lithuania

Sonar survey rendering of shipwreck
Courtesy Ignitis Renewables

Published Dec 8, 2023 8:48 AM by The Maritime Executive

A renewable-power company has discovered a previously-unknown shipwreck during a sonar survey in the Baltic Sea. 

Ignitis Renewables hired Fugro to carry out a bottom survey over about 120 square kilometers of the Baltic off Lithuania, with plans to use the data for siting future offshore wind developments. The area had never been surveyed in detail, and Fugro's vessel detected a 70-meter-long wreck that had never been spotted before. 

Ignitis has turned over the data to Lithuanian authorities and researchers for further investigation. There are only 19 wrecks in the register kept by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, and this one may be the 20th (if the ministry decides it is valuable enough for inclusion). 

The survey data will be used for the development of Lithuania's first-ever offshore wind farm, which was awarded in August. It will have a capacity of 700 MW, enough to power about a quarter of the small nation's energy needs. The project is expected to begin generating power in 2030 and is permitted to continue operations through 2071. 

Lithuania plans to use a different format for its next offshore wind tender, scheduled for January 2024. Ignitis and its consortium partner paid for the right to develop the lease; the new tender will follow the "contract for difference" model, which subsidizes energy production.