Polish Briefing 10 February, 2021 10:00 am   

Polish Briefing: Orlen excludes the possibility of returning to coal at the Ostrołęka C Power Plant


What goes on in Poland on the 10th of February.

Orlen excludes the possibility of returning to coal at the Ostrołęka C Power Plant

PKN Orlen will choose a contractor for the gas block of the Ostrołęka C Power Plant within a few months. The company has already signed a partnership agreement with PGNiG. “There is no return to the scenario where the Ostrołęka C plant runs on coal,” Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN Orlen, emphasized, referring to the demand made by mining unions in Silesia.
The construction of the coal-fired unit in the Ostrołęka power plant was suspended last year, and the costs of the cancelled investment are still being settled. According to unconfirmed reports, about a billion zlotys was spent on the ill-fated venture. The new owner of Energa, PKN Orlen, has decided to modify the project and replace coal with gas. The contractor of the new block is still not known. This, however, is expected to change in the near future. “The contractor of Ostrołęka C will be selected soon, in a few months. We want to do everything on time, and there are a few more issues,” Daniel Obajtek explained.

The trade unions that are negotiating a social contract with the government to close the mining industry in Poland are demanding that the plant run on coal. However, Obajtek emphasized that it is impossible to go back to coal. “This topic is already behind us. We have an investment agreement and PGNiG is our partner. We have moved on. There is no economic justification or possibility to go in this direction (coal block – ed.). We represent shareholders’ money and we must respect them. There is no way Ostrołęka C will return to coal technology,” he said.
At the end of 2020, PKN Orlen announced that it had acquired a partner for the investment in the gas and steam block in Ostrołęka, which will be PGNiG. The trilateral agreement gives PKN Orlen and Energa a leading position in the project, with a total stake of 51 percent. PGNiG will acquire 49 percent of the shares.