Poland’s evolving power production
The Bank is lending EUR 140m to Elektrocieplownia Stalowa Wola for the construction of a highly efficient power plant as part of our on-going support to Poland’s modernisation and diversification of its energy sector.
Thanks to EIB funding, agreed in May 2013, a new combined cycle gas turbine is set to be built on the grounds of an existing industrial site in Stalowa Wola, in South East Poland. The idea behind the new turbine is to use the exhaust from the primary gas engine to fire a separate steam one, generating significant additional heat as well as electricity.
Modern efficient systems
This is the most efficient and common system used in new gas power plants, and the Stalowa Wola unit, the largest of its kind in Poland, will provide a capacity of 450 MWe to the national grid, as well as generating a heating capacity of 240 MWth. This has been earmarked to supply some of Stalowa Wola metropolitan area’s approximately 120 000 inhabitants with heat once the turbine is operational, expected in the second half of 2015.
The new development at Stalowa Wola will improve the internal energy supply in Poland, and help increase competition in the domestic electricity market. These are necessary, but there are also environmental factors to take into account. Climate action and care for the planet are core priorities for the EIB, and the new turbine will have a far lower environmental impact than coal or lignite burning equivalents. Gas is recognised by EU energy policy as a critical transition fuel for the decarbonisation of the energy system, and it is expected that coal consumption at the Stalowa Wola power plant will drop by 100 000 tonnes per year once the advanced new plant is up and running.
There has been considerable EIB investment in Poland’s energy sector, over EUR 2bn so far, targeting security of supply, diversification, integration into EU networks and greener sources. The country has stated goals to source 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020. In 2010, this stood at 9.4%. In the same year, the Bank also co-financed a large scale wind farm in Margonin, in the North West of Poland. The value of the loan was EUR 45m, and the wind farm has an electrical output capacity of 120MWe.
In 2011, a further EUR 53m was lent to Tauron Polska Energia to construct and operate a biomass-fired boiler located in Bielsko-Biala in the South of Poland, capable of producing 50MWe and 45MWth. This replaced a coal fired boiler, and the energy generated comes solely from renewable resources.
In addition to these high-performance green energy production facilities, the EIB has also lent Poland EUR 135m for the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal at Swinoujscie port, on the Swina River and flanked by the Baltic Sea and the German border. This will further move Poland away from both heavy polluting fuels and a costly dependence on Russia for some energy provisions. It will also increase competition in the EU’s energy markets and support priority trans-European energy networks. The terminal will be complete in June 2014.