|Environmentalists vehemently oppose the construction of the coal-fired units|
Energy group PGE has announced that despite environmental activists’ protests, it will carry on with an zł.11.5 billion investment in the southern Polish city of Opole. The investment, for the construction of coal-fired power units, could help save troubled Polish builders Polimex-Mostostal and PBG, who have incurred huge losses as a result of their involvement in infrastructure projects for this year’s Euro 2012 soccer tournament.
The announcement came after Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) overturned a previous order to halt the construction of the two 900MW units for PGE’s Elektrownia Opole power plant and sent the case back for retrial.
A consortium led by PBG subsidiary Rafako won the tender for the construction of the coal power units, only to have activists appeal against the investment’s environmental permits. Rafako is a boiler manufacturer and a key part of the PBG group, which was the main contractor for Poland’s National Stadium and is now facing bankruptcy. The firm had a zł.1.6 billion net loss in the first half of 2012.
The fact that PGE has now said it will move forward with the construction is welcome news for the firms involved in the project, not only for Rafako and PBG but also for Polimex-Mostostal, which suffered a zł.389 million net loss in Q2 of this year and was also rumored to be facing bankruptcy.
ClientEarth Poland, the foundation that has been blocking the investment, has already announced it will continue to oppose PGE’s project in Opole. The next round in the battle will take place in the voivodship administrative court, which has said it will take on the case no sooner than January.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Remi Adekoya
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