Opole power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Opole Power Station is a 3,332-megawatt (MW) coal power station in Opole, Poland, operated by the state-owned Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE Group).

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Opole.

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Background

The original power station consisted of four coal-fired units totaling 1532 MW that began operating in 1993-1997.[1]

Expansion plans

PGE Group planned to add two hard coal fired 900 MW supercritical power units (5 and 6). PGE's 2012 strategy indicated one 900MW unit commissioned and scheduled for 2017, with the second unit planned for 2018.[2] The plant would cost $3.7 billion. The consortium to build Opole includes Polimex, Rafako (a unit of PBG), and Mostostal Warszawa, which is the Polish unit of Spanish firm Acciona.[3]

PGE had to delay the construction of the units after a court blocked the investment following an appeal by ecologists. In October 2012 a Polish court ordered the re-examination of a block, sending the case back to a lower court.[4]

In April 2013, PGE announced that it had decided to cancel the expansion plans, citing weak electricity demand and falling electricity prices.[5]

However, in January 2014 PGE announced that construction would begin in February on 1,800 megawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity at the Opole station. The $3.78 billion expansion will be designed by the French multinational Alstom. The first unit is expected for 2018 and the second in 2019. There are reports that the company is being politically pressured to proceed with the expansion despite rejecting it in April 2013 as unprofitable.[6]

The ultra-supercritical boilers used by the plant are being manufactured in Wuhan, China, and supplied by Alstom Wuhan Boiler Company.[7]

In February 2018 it was reported that unit 5 is planned for commissioning on May 31, 2019, and unit 6 on September 30, 2019.[8]

Unit 5 was synchronized in January 2019 and commissioned on May 31, 2019.[9]

Unit 6 was synchronized on May 14, 2019,[10] and commissioned in September 2019.[11]

Opposition

In 2018, three petitions in relation to the opposition against the Opole power plant in Poland were underway. The first was a petition on WeMove.EU, which was organized by NGOs supporting the Unfriend Coal campaign and signed by over 63,000 individuals. The second petition was organized by Greenpeace Italy, with more than 21,400 signatures accusing of Generali contradicting himself for wanting fewer natural disasters and more coal plants. The third was a petition by Polish NGO Akcja Demokracja, which is signed by at least 5,600 petitioners that believe coal plants, like Opole, will result in pollution-induced respiratory and circulatory conditions. All of these numbers for signatures are as of March 15, 2018.[12]

In 2018, the Polish NGO Association Workshop for All Beings called for the company, Allianz, to “close loopholes” regarding coal plants. Though Allianz divested their direct support from the Opole power plant, the company still leads insurers who underwrite the Opole power plant (such as PGE) and continues to be a shareholder of ENEA and ENERGA, which are both companies planning to build the Opole power plant. Allianz briefly mentioned in response that they would not “renew” existing contracts with facilities such as the Opole power plant.[13]

In March 2020, Greenpeace Poland filed a lawsuit against PGE GiEK, a subsidiary of PGE that is involved in the Opole power plant. They demanded that the company stop any fossil fuel investments and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal plants by 2030. They sued the company for bringing “destruction of our environment,” when renewable energy solutions exist.[14]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: PGE
  • Parent company:
  • Developer: Alstom
  • Location: Opole, Poland
  • Coordinates: 50.75182,17.88196 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Capacity: 1800 MW (Units 5&6: 900 MW)
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Start date: 2019
  • Coal Type: Hard coal
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources

Sources

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