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Poland's PGE launches tender to build country's biggest gas plant

London — Poland's largest utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna said Friday it had launched a Zloty 4 billion ($1.06 billion, Eur940 million) tender to select a contractor to build the country's biggest gas plant as part of its strategy to invest more in lower emission generation sources.

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PGE said it was seeking a contractor to design, deliver, construct and commission two combined cycle gas turbine units of 650-717 MW each at its hard coal-fired Dolna Odra plant near Szczecin in northwestern Poland under a turnkey contract. Bids are due by July 31 and the completion of the investment is scheduled for December 2023, PGE said in a statement. Both units will have the possibility to cogenerate heat as well as electricity, the company said.

Dolna Odra is located far from the country's Silesian coal fields in the south but is very close to the landing point of the 10 Bcm/year Baltic Pipe, which will allow Poland to import directly Norwegian gas once the project is completed in October 2022 as well as the country's Swinoujscie LNG terminal.

PGE's project will be more than twice as large as the country's current biggest CCGT unit, a 600 MW unit commissioned by Polish refiner PKN Orlen at its Plock refinery in June 2018.

Gas-fired generation is starting to play a bigger role in Poland's coal-dominated power sector as companies seek to lower emissions. Last month, gas-fired plants accounted for 8% of the country's total generation, up from 6% a year ago. Hard coal and lignite accounted for 83%, down from 86%.

Apart from Plock, PKN Orlen also commissioned a 463 MW CCGT at its Wloclawek petrochemicals plant in 2017 and state gas company PGNIG is building a 497 MW CCGT unit at its Zeran hard coal-fired CHP plant in Warsaw. The utility Tauron plans to finish the delayed 450 MW CCGT at its Stalowa Wola plant in southeastern Poland next year. In March, another utility, Energa, relaunched a tender to build a 450-750 CCGT in Grudziadz, northern Poland.

PGE also has plans for other new gas-fired cogeneration capacity, including a 110 MWe plant in Siechnice near Wroclaw, a 50 MWe plant in Bydgoszcz, a 30 MWe unit in Zielona Gorda and smaller units in Kielce and Zgierze. By 2025, Poland could have around 4 GW of gas-fired capacity.

--Adam Easton,

--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter,