Plans to build a new 1 GW coal-fired power plant in Poland are moving ahead, with the bidding process for its construction completed this week.
National utility Energa, which is developing the project along with its partner Enea, another state-owned utility, said in a statement that it is now considering bids from three companies. The winning firm will construct the Ostrołęka C plant on a turnkey basis.
The lowest bid came from China Power Engineering Consulting Group, amounting to PLN4.85bn ($1.39bn). A bid from a consortium consisting of GE Power and Alstom Power Systems totaled PLN6.23bn, while another consortium of construction engineering firm Polimex-Mostostal and power equipment company Rafako bid PLN9.59bn.
Ostrołęka C will be built on the site of the existing coal-fired Ostrołęka A and B plants (pictured). The 93 MWe/456 MWth Ostrołęka A combined heat and power (CHP) plant came online in 1958 and was shut down in 2015. The 647 MW Ostrołęka B plant came online in 1972.
Energa said the new supercritical plant must feature a net efficiency of at least 45 per cent, availability of more than 8000 hours per year, and load variability of 30-103 per cent.
Commissioning is planned for 2023.
In its statement, the company called the plant "a key investment for Polish energy security" .
Edward Siurnicki, a board member with plant operator Elektrownia Ostrołęka, which is jointly owned by Energa and Enea, said the cost "is not the only criterion for the evaluation of offers in the proceedings, it is only one of its elements", adding that the companies "will select the most advantageous offer".
In April, Poland and Greece became the only European countries that did not sign on to power sector trade group Eurelectric's pledge not to build new coal-fired power plants after 2020.
Eurelectric secretary-general Kristian Ruby said at the time that the two countries "were not ready to back this statement at this point in time" and that Poland's power association "had said that lignite and coal remains a strategic domestic resource for them".
In addition to Ostrołęka C, the country's plans include PGE's proposed 3 GW lignite-fired plant in the southwestern town of Gubin, which is planned to come online in 2030.