Poland’s largest oil refiner, PKN Orlen, declared its preliminary readiness for direct financial involvement in the construction of the 1GW Ostroleka-C coal power project only if it is converted into a gas unit(1). The announcement by PKN Orlen, which only last month acquired EnergaSa – one of the companies behind the Ostroleka C projecr(2), means that Poland’s troubled new coal project will not come to life. However, smart money is on renewables, not fossil gas.
“Coal is bad business and has no economically viable future in Europe”, said Senior Coal Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Elif Gündüzyeli. “The bad news is that PKN Orlen’s willingness to finance the project as a gas unit risks locking Poland into fossil fuel dependency for decades to come. Gas emits abundant volumes of carbon dioxide when combusted and is inherently linked with leakage of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, all along its life cycle(3). The project should be cancelled altogether(4) in favour of renewables, not gas.”
“Gas is often claimed to be a transition fuel, but it is a polluting energy source that undermines the EU’s climate commitments and Poland should not put its money in stranded assets. Any investment decision we make today must guarantee economic recovery and accelerate the transition to climate neutrality with a complete phase-out of fossil gas by 2035. Leapfrogging from coal to renewables is a no-regret option for a more resilient Polish and European society,” said the EU Gas Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Esther Bollendorff.
(1) PKN ORLEN declaration regarding the investment realised by Elektrownia Ostrołęka sp. z o.o. https://www.orlen.pl/EN/InvestorRelations/Pages/Regulatory-announcement-no-31-2020.aspx
(2) PKN ORLEN closes the acquisition of the ENERGA Group https://www.orlen.pl/EN/News/Pages/PKN-ORLEN-closes-the-acquisition-of-the-ENERGA-Group.aspx
(3) Eliminating methane emissions from the energy and petrochemical sectors https://caneurope.org/docman/climate-energy-targets/3606-joint-ngo-discussion-paper-methane/file
(4) After suspending the financing of the new 1GW Ostroleka C coal plant, Polish utilities should cancel the project altogether https://caneurope.org/publications/press-releases/1883-after-suspending-the-financing-of-the-new-1gw-ostroleka-c-coal-plant-polish-utilities-should-cancel-the-project-altogether
Elif Gündüzyeli, Senior Coal Policy Coordinator, CAN Europe, Mob +320 49 364 7748, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stevan Vujasinovć, Communications Coordinator, CAN Europe, Mob +381 63 390 218, email@example.com
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 170 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing over 1.500 NGOs and more than 47 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.