Siekierki Power Plant – Reducing carbon emissions and improving lives
Siekierki is the largest combined heat and power plant in Europe. The primary fuel used at Siekierki is coal. Norway Grants is providing €5 million to replace coal with more environmentally friendly biomass fuel in one of its boilers.
‘Investments introduced in the Siekierki power plant will help to reduce air pollution and improve living conditions in Warsaw - the capital and the biggest city in Poland. The project is also an example for other nationwide activities aimed at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,’ said the Ministry of the Environment, Under-Secretary of State, Janusz Ostapiuk.
Siekierki is the largest cogeneration plant in Europe: it is only 20 minutes from the centre of Warsaw and it is a major energy and heat provider for the city, meeting 65% of Warsaw’s electricity needs. The project involves the conversion of one boiler from coal-fired generation to a renewable and more sustainable biomass generation. It is estimated that this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 227 000 tonnes per year - that’s roughly equivalent to taking nearly 50 000 cars off the road.
The project is from a pre-selected list of projects that are supported under Poland’s ‘Saving Energy and Promoting Renewable Energy Sources’ programme. The construction and assembly work has already started and the new boiler should be operational in 2015.
Improving air quality
The new technology won’t just reduce CO2 emissions it will also reduce nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and dust in the atmosphere. Long-term exposure to air pollutants leads to respiratory diseases and premature death. In Europe, 90% of city dwellers are exposed to pollutants at levels that exceed World Health Organisation recommendations. The EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive calls on all states to protect human health and the environment by reducing these emissions.
By generating heat and electricity at the same time efficiency is increased. The heat produced during power generation is recovered and provides 70% of the heat supplied to the population of Warsaw. The heat reaches customers heating their tap water and radiators.
‘In 2014 the Ministry of Environment, in cooperation with power plant representatives, had the great pleasure to organise two visits in Siekierki for Norwegian delegations. It was an opportunity to present the company and show how PGNiG was showing environmental concern,’ says Minister Janusz Ostapiuk.
A project visit to the Siekierki power plant during the 2014 EEA and Norway Grant annual meeting in Poland. From left: Anders Erdal, Chairman of the FMC; Gyrid Celius, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Michał Ziętara, Head of the Polish National Focal Point; and. Karsten Klepsvik, Norwegian Ambassador to Poland.