On 18 June 2010 PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA acquired from Kopalnia Węgla Brunatnego "Konin" SA [Konin Lignite Mine] 100% of shares in PWE Gubin Sp. z o.o.
The Company's objective is the preparation of a development plan for a lignite field located near Gubin, in the Lubuskie Province. These deposits, along with the Legnica field deposits, are considered to be of a strategic importance from the perspective of the use of lignite in Poland's power industry.
This investment is a strategic decision - securing the long-term lignite-based development of the PGE Group may in the future ensure the Group's stable power generation base, strengthening the country's energy security, stressed Wojciech Topolnicki, PGE Vice President for Development and Finance.
In the Polish power industry, lignite has been a strategic fuel for many years. It is an important pillar of energy security as it reduces the country's energy dependence on imported energy resources. The installed capacity of Poland's lignite-fired power plants equals approximately 9000 MW, and power generation exceeds 50 TWh a year. The resources of the lignite fields mentioned above will allow PGE to maintain the present level of mining output until 2025. Later, in case no new deposits are developed, the share of lignite in energy production will start to decrease reaching the bottom in around 2040. New lignite field development projects have become part of the vision for the development of Poland's power generation sector within the next few decades, which was also confirmed in "Poland's Power Generation Policy by 2030", adopted by the Council of Ministers on 10 November 2009.
Simultaneously, PGE is investing in research and development projects involving clean and efficient carbon technologies. Such projects are the future of the Polish power industry, which within the next few decades will not be able to give up on coal, added Wojciech Topolnicki.
The results of the research and development projects will provide an answer to the question concerning the most efficient and environmentally friendly method of utilising the deposits. This means that a decision concerning the method of exploiting the deposits will be made in a few years' time, after all necessary analyses, public consultations and environmental protection studies have been carried out.
The deposits of the Gubin lignite field are estimated at 1.6 billion tons. Because of its favourable geological and mining parameters as well as rich deposits, the Gubin field allows for the development of a new fuel and power generation complex. In the future, such complex may become an important source of energy for the country's power system.