Energy 5 April, 2023 8:00 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Tauron’s green turn I Rafako’s going nuclear I PGE nabs PKP Energetyka

Tauron-232 Tauron. Picture by Jędrzej Stachura

What goes in Poland on 5th of April.

Tauron included a green turn and climate neutrality in its Strategic Research Agenda

Tauron presented a new version of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which defines the company’s strategy in the areas of research, development and innovation. It included a green turn and climate neutrality.

The SRA is a plan that takes into account the future activities of the company in the field of research, development and innovation. The sought-after technological solutions are developed within the framework of internal projects and with the participation of business partners and the scientific community.

Tauron stresses that the implementation of the 2018 Strategic Research Agenda has resulted in successful ventures, including the implementation of blockchain technology, the launch of a micronetwork in Bytom or the commercialization of a Virtual Power Plant. The next version of the Strategic Research Agenda is a new opening in areas that are developing with unprecedented speed today, such as the use of green hydrogen, decarbonization of heating, energy storage or the use of data from the smart grid.

“The last few years have been a period of major changes in the history of the TAURON Group. The intensive development of RES, the separation of coal assets from the Group, and the need to rebuild distribution networks make us change in every area of our business. We hope that the new solutions will help us to tackle the most important challenges that the Group will face in the coming years – the instability of renewable energy sources and the decarbonization of heating. The new solutions will also allow us to take advantage of business opportunities, for example those related to the emergence of a smart network or the development of hydrogen technologies,” explains Paweł Szczeszek, president of the Tauron Group.

Tauron/Jędrzej Stachura

Rafako to go nuclear after Tauron deal

“Rafako sees its future in the nuclear energy market and in the modernization of coal blocks with a capacity of 200 MW,” said company CEO Radosław Domagalski-Łabędzki. He stated that first the agreement with Tauron must come into force, and shareholders must agree to the issue of shares, which will allow for debt relief and open the prospect of MS Galleon, an industry investor, entering Rafako.

“The prestige, plans and potential of the new investor guarantee that our company will develop very dynamically. The first SMR in Poland may appear at the end of this decade, which means that now it is necessary to create supply chains, start design work and choose the location of the investment. These are processes that take several years. And already at the initial stage, we are counting on contracts related, for example, to the assessment of potential investment locations or to project work. In the future, Rafako can manufacture certain elements of nuclear power plants, such as steam transmitters or pressure stabilizers. We are already in talks with Westinghouse, EDF and KHNP, i.e. with reactor suppliers, about cooperation and obtaining the necessary certificates for work in the nuclear power industry,” said Domagalski – Łabędzki in an interview with Business Insider Polska.

Another area of interest for the company from Racibórz is the modernization of coal blocks with a capacity of 200 MW and larger. It is about reducing their emissions and improving their parameters so that they can work longer – until nuclear power plants are put into operation.

“This includes projects related to the decarbonization of heating plants, where there is still a lot of work to be done. But first we have to pay our debts, and that’s why we have to issue shares. If this does not happen, the prospects for the company are bleak,” said the company President.

It is worth noting that Rafako is Europe’s largest manufacturer of boilers, environmental protection equipment for the energy sector and can boast of extensive experience in the process of building power plants. The company offers the general construction of power generating units fired with fossil fuels, while its total sales revenues reached PLN 537 million in 2021.

Isbnews / Jacek Perzyński

PGE has completed the purchase of PKP Energetyka

Polska Grupa Energetyczna has completed the acquisition of PKP Energetyka and from today its new company PGE Energetyka Kolejowa will be responsible for the distribution of electricity for rail transport across Poland.

In 2015, PKP Energetyka was sold to the American fund CVC Partners. “Repolonization of key companies is an important element of increasing state security, but also strengthening the competitiveness of Polish enterprises and the entire economy. The purchase of PKP Energetyka by PGE means correcting the strategic and political mistake of the Civic Platform, which, by handing over such an important company into foreign hands, weakened the country’s security. I am convinced that, just as it happened after the acquisition of heating assets from EDF, PGE will fully use the potential of this investment for its development and strengthening of Poland’s Energy Security,” says Jacek Sasin, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Assets.

PGE Energetyka Kolejowa, formerly PKP Energetyka, provides power for rail transport across Poland. It is responsible for the distribution of 4 TWh of electricity per year, uses 21,5 thousand km of power lines and has six traffic control centers in a network controlled by 52 thousand smart meters. It operates 814 traction substations and cabins, 6,213 power stations and 70 network trains. The company employs 4,200 employees.

Jędrzej Stachura