Polish Briefing 21 August, 2018 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: The Three Seas Fund will finance energy investments

What goes on in Poland on the 21st of August.

The Three Seas Fund will finance, among others, energy investments

At the summit of the Three Seas countries in Bucharest on 17-18 September, the banks from 12 countries plan to sign a letter of intent regarding the establishment of a special investment fund from which strategic infrastructure and energy projects will be funded – we read in “Puls Biznesu”.

The Three Seas Fund, which will be operational in the next year, will have a budget of EUR 5 billion to generate investments worth EUR 100 billion.

– Based on the political idea, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego made an initiative to create an investment vehicle that would respond to the economic and infrastructural needs of the region. In all these countries there are counterparts of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, institutions operating either in the form of a development bank or a governmental agenda. We have held several bilateral meetings with all banking institutions. We also conducted two reconciliation workshops, we elaborated an outline of the strategy, the way the fund operates and the rules of financing – said the president of the board of BGK Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka quoted by “Puls Biznesu”.

The newspaper points out that the concept of the Fund is modeled to a certain extent on the Marguerite Fund created by the five largest development banks in Europe – BGK, KfW, CDP, ICO, CDC, and the EIB under the aegis of the European Commission to finance infrastructure and energy investments in individual countries the EU.

Energy issues are key for some energy actors. Poland and Croatia are interested in the connection of LNG terminals in Świnoujście and the Krk that is being built on the island and the construction of a gas distribution network in the region. It is up to all Three Seas countries to build cross-border energy connections – we read in the “Puls Biznesu”.

Polish Smog Alert: The Ministry of Energy prefers dirty coal to clean air

The Polish Smog Alert expressed firm opposition to the coal quality standards proposed by the Ministry of Energy. In the proposed form, standards will prevent effective anti-smog policy, implementation of air protection programs and reduction of low emissions from domestic heating installations. The proposal of the Ministry of Energy is in contradiction with the government program Clean Air.

The standards allow for the combustion of coal with very high moisture content (up to 24 percent), sulfur (up to 1,8 percent), ash (even 28 percent) and low calorific value (18 MJ/kg). Such poor parameters make it impossible to achieve a significant improvement in air quality. What is more, the regulation makes it possible to place coal wastes, ie flotoconcentrates or mules, on the commercial market, by mixing them with moths. This is inconsistent with the amendment of the Act on the Fuel Quality Monitoring and Control System adopted by the Sejm last month.

The current proposal of the Ministry of Energy is to take a step back from the regulation prepared in 2015 and approved by the European Commission. For comparison, the 2015 regulation allowed for trading with an ash content of no more than 12 percent, while the current proposal is 28 percent (more than twice as much).

Coal quality standards included in the Ministry of Energy Regulation are a necessary addition to the adopted Act on quality control of solid fuels and are guidelines for the Trade Inspection, which is to start inspection on coal depots. However, the Ministry of Energy has set standards in such a way that nothing has changed on the market. Practically 100 percent of the worst quality coal will remain in the trade.