Domestic and EU-based legislation is having an adverse effect on Poland’s energy security and may lead to shortages.

That’s the view of Mariusz Marciniak, Doosan’s sales director, who told Power Engineering International that restrictions imposed on the development of new build coal-fired power plants and the public procurement law had made it difficult for the power sector in the country to improve its electricity resource.

“When we joined the EU it was promised to Poland and other newcomers that we would receive greater flexibility when it came to CO2 emission limits just to allow our developing economy to reduce the gap with Western Europe.

Mariusz Marciniak
Many investors were shocked when this did not happen and the decision was made not to give a free CO2 limit for new build, but instead only grant the limit for the modernization of old equipment so automatically some of these coal projects became unprofitable.”

“To me it looks to be more about political gains than reasonable solutions, because when you build 1000 MW coal units with a minimum efficiency of 45 per cent, it is much more environmentally friendly than 10 old 100 MW units with a 30 per cent average efficiency.

I don’t fully understand Brussels position but it’s one of the elements that has led to the cancellation of coal projects.”

The eyes of the world will be on Poland next month, as Warsaw is hosting the UN Climate Change Conference.

Marciniak and others in the Polish power sector are frustrated as Poland had plans to build approximately 11 GW of new coal facilities by 2020. However EU regulation and the controversial public procurement law has led to delays and postponements instead.

What has complicated the matter is that the law has led in many cases to a situation whereby the unsuccessful bidders appeal against the awarded bidder, leading to inevitably more delays.

“Also it becomes difficult to negotiate solutions with clients, as they are obliged by law, to very limited contact with bidders.”

“The public procurement law is very restrictive. Clients have problems with the process, because it is extremely detailed. I am not saying that it is wrong, but it is consuming a lot of time and money and unfortunately does not give the freedom for the clients to choose the best technology. In the minority of cases the client is forced to choose the cheapest technology.”

Marcinak believes that because of the difficulties being encountered by domestic power producers, Doosan- with its global profile- is more relevant than ever to the Polish and European market in ensuring environmental criteria are met, while keeping the lights on.

Doosan has developed a number of technologies, such as OxyCoal and post combustion carbon capture, across different sectors that focus on assisting power producers in reducing emissions.

“Efficient generation of environmentally friendly energy has always been one of our top priorities. This aspect is especially important in Poland, a country with large coal deposits, which may provide the country’s energy security for years to come; even while EU regulations have has to be met.”

For now Doosan tries to offer itself as an EPC contractor and provide its comprehensive portfolio of equipment for use by local interests. Ideally that means catering for new builds, despite the obstacles.

Marciniak says his company is fully aware that Poland needs to reduce its dependency on coal-fired power but still insists a more reasonable outcome exists if energy security and environmental obligations are to be met.

“We are fully aware that Poland has to increase the energy mix but as you will be aware from history revolutions always make for disaster. Joining the EU just a couple of years ago it should have been about evolution, not revolution when it comes to technology. We should still invest in new coal builds with the best available technologies, not modernizing 40 year old units as promoted in Brussels for whatever reason.”

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