Polish Briefing 1 June, 2021 10:30 am   

Polish Briefing: PSE and Litgrid approved investment decisions on Harmony Link | Regulations on concessions for coal mining to be amended


What goes on in Poland on the 1st of June.

PSE and Litgrid approved investment decisions on Harmony Link

PSE and Litgrid, the power transmission system operators of Poland and Lithuania, have made final investment decisions regarding the implementation phase of the Harmony Link interconnector project, an offshore power line between Poland and Lithuania.

The investment decisions, in accordance with the signed cooperation agreements, will initiate the project implementation phase. In particular, they will enable the commencement of tender procedures for the selection of contractors for a high voltage direct current cable (HVDC) and converter stations. “Harmony Link is a key investment in the synchronization process of the Baltic states with the continental European network. It is also an example of good cooperation between Warsaw and Vilnius. PSE and Litgrid have already proved during the construction of the LitPol Link line that they are able to implement such large and difficult investment projects, and the project’s entry into the implementation phase proves the effectiveness of the Polish-Lithuanian partnership,” Piotr Naimski, Secretary of State, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, said.

“Harmony Link is the largest synchronization project between the Baltic states and the continental European network. The submarine cable will significantly increase the energy security of the region and contribute to the integration of renewable energy sources in all Baltic countries. After the approval of the final investment decisions in both countries, Litgrid and PSE will be able to continue the planned works. Currently, Litgrid and PSE are carrying out territorial planning and environmental impact assessment processes, preparing tender documentation for the construction of cable and converter stations, exploring the seabed, and Litgrid has acquired a plot of land for the construction of a station in Darbėnai. This year, an implementation study has also been completed,” Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Litgrid, said.

The government will amend the regulations on concessions for coal mining. Lex Turów will disappear

On Tuesday, the government is to decide on a draft amendment that will remove the provision allowing for a single extension of the license, e.g. for coal mining, without the need to obtain a prior decision on environmental conditions. It was these regulations that allowed the Turów Mine’s concession to be extended, which the Czechs complained about. The amendment will be applied to the Act on the provision of information on the environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection and on environmental impact assessments.

The amendment will repeal the applicable regulations, which excluded the requirement to obtain a decision on environmental conditions when submitting an application for a license amendment with a one-time extension of the term of the license for the extraction of hard coal, lignite and sulfur. The draft prepared by the Ministry of Climate and Environment introduces a rule that a one-off extension of the concession – without obtaining a decision on environmental conditions, in order to maintain the continuity of the extraction of the mentioned minerals – will be possible only without extending the scope of the concession, and only when the extension of the concession is justified by the rational management of the deposit, and in the case of lignite mining – up to six years.