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The energy firm has plans to build a series of new gas power plants, in addition to expanding its renewables business.

By Joseph Murphy

Poland's PGE plans to raise 3.2bn zlotys ($800mn) through a share issue to finance coal-to-gas switching, expand its onshore wind and solar energy business and modernise grids, the state energy company said on January 19.

"The funding raised will be used to develop capital-intensive projects, including grid cabling, new photovoltaic projects, acquisitions of onshore wind farms and PV farms and low-carbon gas sources," PGE CEO Wojciech Dabrowski said.

PGE intends to build a 800-900 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant to replace coal-fired generation at its 1.8-GW power station in Rybnik. The project is slated to cost 2.95bn zlotys in total, of which 880mn zlotys will come from the share issue.

Construction is already underway on a 1.4-GW CCGT to replace coal units at its Dolna Odra plant that are due to be retired by the end of 2030. The share issue is also expected to raise half of the 460mn zlotys needed to convert plants in Zgierz, Kielce and Bydgoszcz from coal to gas between 2023 and 2025.

Poland produces 75-80% of its electricity from coal, but in recent years has embraced gas as a cleaner and affordable alternative. In addition to new power plants, the country is also expanding its LNG import capacity and building a pipeline to access Norwegian gas.