The PGE Capital Group is interested in the development of new efficient mining and power generation complexes based on the domestic lignite deposits and state-of-the-art technologies ensuring reduced environmental impacts.
Located in the Lubuskie Province at the border with Germany, "Gubin" is one of a number of potential projects being reviewed within the scope of the development strategy for the PGE Group's whole portfolio of power generation assets. As a company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and belonging to a group of enterprises of a strategic importance for Poland's energy security, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna is fully aware of its responsibility for the successful execution of key investment projects as well as the future of regions where such projects are to be executed.
Taking care of the natural environment is one of our priorities, which is exemplified by the stringent emission standards effective in the power plants belonging to the company. It needs to be stressed that PGE lays great emphasis on the cooperation with local communities already at the preparation stage of an investment project.
Our transparent information policy is very effective. More than 44% of the inhabitants of the Gubin area definitely support the idea of developing a power generation complex. A few non-governmental organizations are actively involved in this matter. An analysis of the results of a survey conducted by the Lubuski Social Research Centre indicates that the number of supporters is rising, while the group of opponents is shrinking. Since 2011 the group of inhabitants in favour of our "Gubin" investment plans has doubled in size.
We could commence operations related to the construction of a lignite mine in 2018. If new units were to start generating power in 2030, the construction of a power plant should be initiated around 2025. In view of the forecast lignite deposits (860 million tons) and the assumed scope of mining operations (17 million tons of lignite per year), there is realistic potential to build a power plant with a capacity of 2700-3000 MW.
In our talks with the local communities, we draw their attention to the benefits in which the inhabitants of the communes of Gubin and Brody will be able to share if the project is eventually approved. A mining and power generation complex means permanent and attractive jobs, additional income for the communes and provinces resulting from various charges and taxes on mining and power generation operations which could reach tens of million zlotys. This, in turn, would result in the improvement of the road and railway infrastructure, new public facilities and the enhanced attractiveness of the whole region. The total taxes and charges levied on the operations of the similar Bełchatów complex amount to almost 420 million zlotys. According to estimates, 200 million zlotys of this sum goes to the budget of the Commune of Kleszczów, where the Bełchatów lignite mine and power plant are located.
2300 inhabitants who are being frightened with forced relocation constitute a group of all people residing in the area of a potential opencast mine during a period of 50 years, i.e. its whole economic life. In fact, a much smaller group of residents will be invited to participate in negotiations related to the purchase of their real properties, which will be necessary for the construction of a lignite mine. Everything depends on the time and place of the commencement of mining operations. According to our estimates, not more than 500 people could be affected by the first seven-year period of lignite mining. We guarantee that the inhabitants of the communes of Gubin and Brody will have access to all information on this subject.
We would like to stress that PGE always and everywhere treats its neighbours with dignity and respect. During 20 years of the Turów lignite mine's operations there was just one case of the state’s exercising its right of eminent domain. Thus, throwing people out onto the street is obviously out of the question. The other inhabitants participating in negotiation were satisfied with received proposals. Most of them bought new houses within a radius of 20 km from the previous place or residence and settled down there. The amount of compensation guarantees a possibility of building or buying a new house.
We would like to mention that only in 2013, just in the vicinity of Turów and the PGE lignite mining and power generation complex, we planted 56,000 trees. In the Bełchatów area, we have rehabilitated 450 ha of previously mined land. This is the area of a small town. The former exterior spoil heap of the Bełchatów lignite mine is now a beautiful forest area and a habitat for many species of animals such as hawks, buzzards, falcons, kestrels, hares, deer and many others.
Built by PGE in Bełchatów, The Mount Kamieńsk Sports and Recreation Centre attracts sports enthusiasts around the year. It operates the longest and best prepared ski route in Central Poland with a four-seat chair lift, together with a hotel and conference centre. The greatest summer attraction is a sledging track, while cyclists can take advantage of 40 kilometres of bicycle routes of different degrees of difficulty.