Poland needs 1,500-2,000 MW a year of new power

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WARSAW, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Poland needs to build between 1,500 and 2,000 megawatts a year of new power capacity to keep up with growing demand, an adviser to the economy minister said on Wednesday.
The country, which needs to increase capacity quickly to make up for years of abandoning investments and plant renovations, would be interested in building natural-gas fired plants, Joanna Strzelec-Lobodzinska said.
"The estimates show Poland needs to create between 1,500 and 2,000 MW in new capacities to keep up with growing demand and replace outdated technologies," Lobodzinska told reporters.

"It is very possible a number of natural-gas fired plants will be built," she added.

According to the adviser, tenders for the first such plants could start next year.

Polish natural gas monopoly PGNiG has said it is interested in entering the power sector and there have been media reports that the company is in talks with Germany's RWE on building a gas-fired plant in Poland.
Poland is also considering construction of a nuclear power plant but a final decision has not been made.
At present the country is taking part in preparations to build a new nuclear plant in Lithuania, which will replace the Soviet-era Ignalina plant.

Poland is also interested in cooperation with Ukraine on an unspecified nuclear plant project, Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak said on Wednesday, without giving details.

"Ignalina is our priority, but cooperation with Ukraine is also possible... (Power company) PGE is conducting talks on the matter," Pawlak said.

Poland's largest power maker, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), had already expressed interest in building nuclear plant in Poland and it is participating in the Ignalina joint venture.

Asked about the Ukrainian talks, PGE chief executive Tomasz Zadroga said: "We are looking at various opportunities, we are not ruling out any possibilities."

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