Energy 19 July, 2023 7:35 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Court lets Turów function I Consultations on Poland’S NPP with foreign countries over

Turów power plant. Picture by PGE GiEK Turów power plant. Picture by PGE GiEK

PGE: decision on Turów will unlock coal mining

The Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) has positively considered the complaint of Polska Grupa Energetyczna against the decision of the Regional Administrative Court, which suspended the implementation of the environmental decision for the Turów mine. This means the environmental decision, which for the planned investment means the end of the environmental impact assessment, has become enforceable again

Turów Mine. Picture by Polska Grupa Energetyczna

The Supreme Administrative Court considered PGE’s complaint against the decision of the Provincial Administrative Court of 31 May 2023 suspending the implementation of the environmental decision for the Turów mine. The NSA ruled that the order issued by the lower court was defective and therefore lifted the order suspending the enforcement of the environmental decision.

“The NSA’s decision is very good news, especially for Poles, who have the right to expect the stability of the energy sector and energy security, and one of the foundations of these is the energy complex in Turów. For the residents of the region, it is a guarantee of energy security and the economy of the entire region,” said Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of PGE.

The court’s decision referred to Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, from which it follows that energy security is a constitutional value, since it is one of the guarantees of the independence of the state and the security of citizens. Moreover, the NSA stated that PGE’s arguments had been completely disregarded by the Provincial Administrative Court.

“That is why we welcome with satisfaction the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court, which, after examining PGE’s complaint [ … ], annulled the contested decision and refused to suspend the enforceability of the environmental decision,” Dąbrowski added.

The positive resolution of PGE’s complaint means a return to the enforceability of the environmental decision, which for the planned investment is the culmination of the environmental impact assessment process. In order to obtain an environmental decision, the Turów mine prepared a comprehensive environmental report that has been subject to cross-border public consultation. Consultations on the report ended with the signing in 2019 by the Czech Republic and Germany of protocols of agreements on minimizing the negative impact of the mine on the environment. PGE stresses that the measures to be used for this purpose have been identified in the environmental decision and are being implemented on an ongoing basis.

Polska Grupa Energetyczna / Jędrzej Stachura

PEJ: Consultations with states on the NPP in Pomerania done

The Director General of Environmental Protection has completed substantive consultations with other states within the framework of the cross-border procedure for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Pomerania, according to Polish Nuclear Power Plants (PEJ).

“The completion of substantive exchanges of comments and meetings with countries that have requested this is a very important stage in environmental management. We are transparent, allowing other countries to communicate their investment-related questions to Poland, providing detailed answers and thus complying with the provisions of the Espoo convention. I am glad that all our information and explanations have been accepted, and that other countries understand our needs and plans, and that they have very efficiently participated in substantive consultations on the impact of this project on the environment,” said Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska.

A total of 14 countries participated in the cross-border consultations, including: Poland’s neighbors, those located in the Baltic Sea region or having previously declared their willingness to participate in the procedure. The Czech Republic, Finland and the Netherlands did not submit comments or questions to the environmental report prepared by the PEJ and fully accepted its assumptions and analysis results, thereby supporting Poland’s aspirations for the development of nuclear energy. Written comments were submitted by Austria, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and Hungary.

At the request of four countries – Austria, Denmark, Latvia and Germany – the Polish side organized in Warsaw intergovernmental cross-border consultations in the form of a meeting of experts under Art. 5 of the Espoo convention. These ended with the agreement on the relevant minutes of the meeting, thus confirming the absence of further questions or concerns about the impact of the nuclear power plant.

The completion of substantive cross-border arrangements does not mean the procedure for obtaining an environmental decision has been completed. The procedure conducted by the General Directorate for Environmental Protection also provides for public consultations. The next administrative decision to be applied for by the PEJ is the so-called location decision.

The nuclear power plant in Pomerania is one of two that are to be built under the current Polish Nuclear Energy Program (PPEJ).

The Polish Nuclear Power Plants company has been established to prepare the investment process and act as an investor in the project for the construction of nuclear power plants with a total installed capacity of approx. 6 to approx. 9 GWe.

Polish Nuclear Power Plants / Jacek Perzyński