Poland’s largest oil refiner, PKN Orlen, declared its preliminary readiness for direct financial involvement in the construction of the 1GW Ostroleka-C coal power project only if it is converted into a gas unit. The announcement by PKN Orlen, which only last month acquired EnergaSa – one of the companies behind the Ostroleka C project, means that Poland’s troubled new coal project will not come to life. However, smart money is on renewables, not fossil gas.
“Coal is bad business and has no economically viable future in Europe”, said Senior Coal Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Elif Gündüzyeli. “The bad news is that PKN Orlen’s willingness to finance the project as a gas unit risks locking Poland into fossil fuel dependency for decades to come. Gas emits abundant volumes of carbon dioxide when combusted and is inherently linked with leakage of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, all along its life cycle(3). The project should be cancelled altogether in favour of renewables, not gas.”
“Gas is often claimed to be a transition fuel, but it is a polluting energy source that undermines the EU’s climate commitments and Poland should not put its money in stranded assets. Any investment decision we make today must guarantee economic recovery and accelerate the transition to climate neutrality with a complete phase-out of fossil gas by 2035. Leapfrogging from coal to renewables is a no-regret option for a more resilient Polish and European society,” said the EU Gas Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Esther Bollendorff.