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PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Poland’s largest electricity company, has signed a contract with a consortium composed of Polimex Mostostal and Siemens Energy for the construction of a gas and steam unit with a capacity of 882 MW in Rybnik, in southern Poland. 

In addition to the contract for the general implementation of the investment, related to the construction of a unit worth approx. PLN 3 billion net, a long-term service contract was also concluded with a net value of over PLN 0.76 billion. The new gas unit in Rybnik will replace four decommissioned coal units with a total capacity of 900 MW in the existing Rybnik power plant. The unit is scheduled to be commissioned in December 2026.

“The agreement signed in Rybnik begins one of the largest and most modern energy investments in Silesia. The gas and steam unit, which will be built in Rybnik in less than four years, will contribute to reducing the emission intensity of the national economy and thus improve air quality in the region. It will also bring tangible savings on the purchase of CO2 emission allowances in the PGE Group,” said Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna.

The new investment will strengthen Poland’s energy security and ensure stable energy supplies for approx. 2 million households and new jobs both during construction and subsequent operation.

“Due to the huge challenges in the transformation of the energy sector, investments based on the latest technologies are necessary. They play a key role in ensuring energy security. The gas-steam unit in Rybnik is a perfect example of this type of investment. Siemens Energy will deliver the technologically advanced 9000HL turbine, which is one of the largest gas turbines available, and will support the transition to a more stable energy system,” said Grzegorz Dobrzety, President of the Management Board of Siemens Energy in Poland and Vice President of the Eastern Europe region at Siemens Energy.

The gas and steam unit in Rybnik will be the largest and most efficient unit of this type in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. The investment will meet the most restrictive emission limits resulting from the BAT conclusions for CCGT units. The emission of dust and sulfur oxides will be reduced to almost zero, which will significantly affect the quality of air in the Rybnik region. The emission index of the new unit is three times lower than for coal-fired units of the 200 MW class and amounts to 320 g of CO2 per kWh of electricity generated.

The new gas-steam unit will be able to co-combust hydrogen in gaseous fuel. The block will be cooled in an open system, i.e. with water from the Rybnik Reservoir, which will have a positive impact on the existing ecosystem. The technological solutions used will ensure compliance with moving towards a circular economy, the company says.

In December 2022, the gas and steam unit in Rybnik obtained a 17-year contract in the main auction of the capacity market, which comes into force from 2027 and is expected to ensure a return on investment. The implementation of the project will be partly financed with funds obtained from the new issue of PGE shares in 2022.

The construction of the gas and steam unit will allow for the restoration of the production potential of the Rybnik Power Plant. The dynamic development of renewable energy sources in Poland, in which the PGE Group has the largest share, requires maintaining high flexibility of operation of individual power units. The new gas and steam unit in Rybnik will be a stable and flexible source of energy supply balancing the generation capacity of renewable energy sources.