It’s smart to bet on gas

| Production & Resources |

The growing demand for electricity is forcing Polish enterprises to look for new, cheaper and more efficient resources. These include natural gas, which is becoming more and more widely used in power plants.

Coal is not enough

A key element causing such shift in the approach to energy policy is ensuring the security of power supply at peak times (6:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 22:00). A power plant using coal needs c. 12 hours to reach the requisite output capacity. However, a gas power plant requires as little as 90 – 120 seconds before it starts to provide electricity to the network. Investments in gas power plants are clearly justified seeing that it is expected that the shortage of electricity will reach 6,000 MW in 18 months’ time.

Cheap fuel is an opportunity

European power providers are following the example of American ones. The price of natural gas on the US market is now three times lower than in Europe. As a result, the resource may be exported at competitive prices.

Currently, Polish power companies are not only active in the search of shale gas, but also waiting for the launch of LNG (liquefied natural gas) Import Terminal in Świnoujście. With a view to benefiting from cheaper gas, “PUŁAWY” is also intent on building a combined cycle power plant, making the company independent of energy coming from coal.

A crucial investment

“PUŁAWY” power plant in a joint project by Grupa Azoty “PUŁAWY” and PGE (Polska Grupa Energetyczna). “PUŁAWY” is one of the main consumers of natural gas in Poland, using c. 1 billion m3 of the resource annually, and having acquired considerable experience in purchasing and running the requisite infrastructure. PGE is the leader of Polish power supply market with the necessary potential for such a major investment. Owing to synergy of the goals and competences of both entities,there will be a new combined cycle power plant, providing electricity and heat for “PUŁAWY” and selling the surplus on domestic market.