• Poland’s last coal-fired power plant to be… gas-fired

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Poland’s PKN Orlen, which took over state-run utility Energa in 2020, is to build a gas-fired power plant at Ostroleka in the country’s north-east, rather than the coal-fired plant originally planned. The coal-fired plant, which was designed to be 1GW and had been labelled Poland’s last to be fired with the rock fuel, had already commenced construction, meaning the change in fuels is rather dramatic, though not an unreasonable one. Regarding the switch, chief executive Daniel Obajtek told reporters that the “losses related to continuing the investment would be bigger than stopping it”, and that a “smart company has the right to withdraw when it sees the risks.” Carbon permit prices under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme have risen from €5-7/tonne when the investment was first planned to more than €55/tonne now, completely changing the picture for the operating costs, and with all countries under pressure to reduce carbon emissions, the change to gas will be welcomed by some and deemed not enough by others opposed to any form of fossil fuels being used. Either way, the switch seems another symbol of the decline of coal for power generation in Europe.