Harnessing hard coal

RWE, the biggest power producer in Germany, is to invest €1.5bn in the construction of an 800MW hard-coal power station in Poland.


The plant will be developed as the result of a joint venture between RWE and Kompania Weglowa, the largest coal company in Poland and the EU. RWE will become the majority shareholder of the new joint company with a 75 per cent share.


The plant will be located on the premises of the former Piast Ruch II coal mine owned by Kompania Weglowa in the village of Wola and is scheduled to come on stream in 2015.


Dr Johannes Lambertz, CEO of RWE Power, said that the new power plant will have an efficiency of 46 per cent and emit significantly less CO2 than older systems in Poland, where the current efficiency is only 33 to 35 per cent.


‘This means up to 30 per cent less hard coal will be required per kWh generated and annual CO2 emissions will be reduced by 1.3 million tons,’ he added.


On the renewable front, RWE’s Innogy arm is also active in the country and plans to build wind-power projects with a total capacity of 200MW in Masuria and Pomerania, the first of which are due to come on stream in 2010.


Poland’s annual demand for energy is growing by three to five per cent per annum.