Vattenfall will build and operate Finland’s first gigascale offshore wind farm in a joint venture with state-owned forest and seabed management firm Metsähallitus.

The Swedish utility was picked in the first of several international tenders for wind at sea planned by Metsähallitus to build the 1.3GW Korsnäs project in the Bay of Bothnia off Finland’s western coast, just 400km south of the Arctic Circle.

The up to €3bn ($3.2bn) wind farm is slated to have an annual output of 5TWh – sufficient to supply two million apartment homes or the annual consumption of some 250,000 electricity heated houses in Finland. The country only has 5.5 million inhabitants.

“We are very honoured to have been selected to develop Finland’s first large scale offshore wind farm,” said Helene Biström, head of the wind business area at Vattenfall, adding the group would “bring our broad experience to the Korsnäs project, supporting Finland to reach their ambitious climate targets.”

Elina Kivioja, chief executive at Vattenfall’s Finnish unit, added the company with the project is expanding its role in the country from one of the largest electricity retailers to a significant renewable energy producer.

Finland so far only has the 42MW Tahkoluoto nearshore array at Pori built by wind developer Suomen Hyötytuuli, which plans an up to 900MW extension to the project. It, and Vattenfall’s Korsnäs project earlier this year have been granted permits by the Finnish government.

The Nordic country aims to be carbon neutral by 2035 and sees state-owned Metsähallitus as key role for achieving this goal. The country is also speeding up renewables project to substitute former Russian energy imports that were curtailed in the wake of the war on Ukraine.

“Vattenfall presented strong experience on large-scale offshore wind projects together with sustainable business practices in addition to competitive commercial terms,” said Juha Niemelä, director general of Metsähallitus

“We are confident that this project will benefit the people of Korsnäs, the economic zone around Vaasa as well as the state of Finland.”

Vattenfall expects the wind farm to be operational in the early 2030s.