Poland goes green with new power plant launch next year

Andrzej Grygiel

A new, greener power unit in south-western Poland has passed key tests and is set to be ready next year. The 910 MW bloc will be part of the Jaworzno III power plant owned by Tauron, one of Poland’s four major energy companies, located near the city of Katowice. 

The new bloc, costing 6 billion złoty, will burn around 2.5 million tonnes of coal a year, from Tauron’s coalmines. It will generate 6.5 TWh of electricity a year – enough to cover the needs of 2.5 million households.

The new bloc will be gentler on the environment than earlier power plants built in Poland during the 1970s and 1980s. Built using coal-based technology for supercritical parameters, it will have an efficiency of 45.9% net. It will emit 2 million tonnes less carbon dioxide than a smaller 120 MW bloc, sixteen times less sulphur dioxide, and five times less nitrogen oxide. 

Emissions of particulate matter – a mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air, which is associated with health risks – will be eleven times lower, too. According to Tauron’s management, the bloc will be one of the most efficient of its kind in Europe, confirming that low-emission units using the latest technology can play a significant role in Poland’s power industry.

Conceptual work on the bloc began in 2008. Tauron Wytwarzanie, Poland’s second-largest power producer, which is part of Tauron Group, signed the construction contract in April 2014. It is being built by a consortium of Rafako, a Polish company that designs and produces boilers for the power industry, and Mostostal, a Warsaw-based steel construction group. In April, the bloc passed pressure tests, involving testing its water-tightness by filling it with water at 561 bar (around 56.1 MPa).

Some work remains, including finishing the pipe system providing the bloc with vapour and water and installing the distributed control system (DCS), but the project is now more than 60% complete. Tauron expects the bloc to be ready on time, in late 2019.