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Created before Nov 2016
Last update: 2020-01-22 13:55:31
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Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) is the EU's number 3 top CO2 emitter. The company negatively impacts human health and climate change due to its coal-fired energy generation and coal mining extraction. For this reason, PGE is tracked as part of the Europe Beyond Coal campaign.
About Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE)
PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A., the parent company of the PGE Capital Group, is the largest producer of electricity and heat in Poland. As of 2018, the company has a 36% market share in energy generation. Its generation is largely fossil fuel-based. The company owns two lignite mines, four conventional power plants and eight Combined Heat and Power systems. In total, PGE accounts for 78% of Poland's lignite extraction. Besides lignite, PGE uses hard coal, gas and biomass in its generation processes. PGE is currently building two new coal power plants (Turow and Opole) and is expanding its lignite mining.
Henryk Baranowski |
listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange
Polska Grupa Energetycza (PGE) is largely fossil-fuel based, with coal as its core source of energy. As was found by IEEFA, the company's hard coal and lignite plants accounted for 91% of its total generation in 2017. The use of coal-fired power plants negatively impacts human health, the environment and climate change. Coal-fired energy generation causes air pollution, which can affect people's health. Health issues that arise are illnesses (like bronchitis and asthma), but they can also result in premature deaths. Due to the health impacts of coal, considerable costs are created as well. In 2013, these costs were estimated to be between 32.4 and 62.3 billion Euros. These costs are not covered by the coal sector but are borne by society.
Polish coal plants cause the most health damage in the EU and have caused 5800 premature deaths across the EU. Of these deaths, 1100 occurred in Poland. Moreover, the most damaging plant to human health in the EU, the coal power plant Belchatow, is owned by PGE/
As mentioned, coal pollution also negatively affects the climate. Coal-fired power generation processes emit greenhouse gases and therewith directly contribute to climate change.
As reported in Europe's Dark Cloud, Polish coal plants are the worst CO2 emitters of the EU. Unsurprisingly, Poland is struggling to meet the European air pollution requirements. The worst CO2 emitter of the EU is the lignite-fired plant, Belchatow, which is owned by PGE. This plant emitted 37,646,220 CO2 in 2017.
As reported by IEEFA, PGE is facing enormous pressure regarding the stricter standards on air pollution that will come into effect in 2021. The company is majority state-owned, and the Polish government is backing the use of coal. However, as market forces are shifting, the government is now facing economic pressures.
PGE abandons proposed Gubin-Brody lignite mine
Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), a publicly owned power utility, has abandoned plans for the proposed Gubin-Brody lignite mine after a decade-long campaign against the project by local residents and Greenpeace Poland. The proposed open-cut lignite mine would have displaced up to 3,000 people and destroyed 15 villages and agricultural land. In a referendum in 2009 a majority of voters opposed the project while over 7,000 people attended an August 2014 rally against the plan. In 2016 environmental regulators found major deficiencies in the company’s environment assessment and allowed up to three years for the deficiencies to be addressed. At the expiry of the three years, the Regional Director for Environmental Protection announced the application for the project has lapsed.
Legal challenge of PGE's Zloczew coal mine by Polish NGO ClientEarth
Approval for a huge new coal mine that would leave 3,000 people in search of new homes is being challenged by ClientEarth’s lawyers in Poland. The Zloczew open-cast mine would be Poland’s deepest ever and, for the first time, use explosives to access the lignite (the dirtiest form of coal) beneath the surface. This project of state-owned energy company PGE, would result in the displacement and destruction of 33 villages, including highly specialised modern farms, homes, schools, shops, chapels and fire stations.
PGE signs EUR 950 million credit facility
In September 2018 PGE signed a EUR 950 million loan agreement with Intesa Sanpaolo, MUFG, Banco Santander and PKO Bank.
From 2014-2017, nine financial institutions loaned a total of USD 1.875 billion dollars and provided underwriting services totalling USD 1.733 billion dollars to PGE. These are specified below. In September 2018 PGE signed a EUR 950 million loan agreement with Intesa Sanpaolo, MUFG, Banco Santander and PKO Bank.
PGE finances include debt finance in the form of bonds and loans from commercial banks and the development banks: EBRD and EIB. PGE lists its most important available financing here; financial institutions involved are listed below.