Fortum to invest in a CHP plant in Poland

By Fortum | April 01, 2015

Fortum has decided to build a new multifuel combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant in Zabrze, Poland. The total value of the investment is approximately €200 million ($215.4 million). The new plant is planned to start commercial operations by the end of 2018, providing district heating to some 70,000 households in Zabrze and Bytom.

The new plant will primarily be fuelled by refuse derived fuel (RDF) and coal but can also use biomass and a mixture of fuels. The amount of RDF can be up to 50 percent of the total fuel usage. The residential and industrial waste for RDF is sourced locally. The new plant will replace the existing purely coal-fired, outdated units in Zabrze and Bytom. The investment is expected to significantly improve the efficiency of operations and reduce CO2 and other emissions in the area.

The plant will have a production capacity of 220 MW, including 145 MW of heat and 75 MW of electricity, and its annual production is estimated to be approximately 730 and 550 GWh of heat and electricity respectively. The construction project is estimated to begin in the summer, subject to the local environmental impact assessment process and other negotiations.

"Efficient combined heat and power production is one of Fortum's three strategic core competences. With our experience in efficient energy production and focus on tackling climate change, we want to contribute to the ongoing transformation of the Polish energy sector," says Markus Rauramo, executive vice president of the heat, electricity sales and solutions division at Fortum. "Poland is one of the biggest district heating markets in Europe, and we are well established there."

Fortum has been operating in Poland since 2003. It has currently four CHP units and over 800 km of district heating network, which serve in total 360,000 households in the cities of Płock, Wrocław, Częstochowa, Zabrze and Bytom. The total power generation capacity is currently over 200 MW and heat generation capacity over 1,100 MW. In the end of 2014, Fortum had some 600 employees in Poland. Zabrze is part of the fast developing Katowice area in Upper Silesia, with some 2.4 million inhabitants and 21 cities.