Belarusian energy to power Polish homes?

Poland will soon have some of its energy supplied from a power plant in Belarus, if Polish mogul Jan Kulczyk's plans work out.

Mr Kulczyk's company, Kulczyk Holding, signed an agreement on Thursday with a subsidiary of Belarusian state energy company Belenergo to construct a 920 megawatt coal-fired power plant near the town of Grodno in Belarus, according to daily Parkiet.

The daily estimates the project will cost some zl.1.5 billion, half of which will be provided by Kulczyk Holding. Construction is due to launch in late 2011 and take four years.

"The final value of the investment is not yet known," Marta Wysocka, spokesperson for Kulczyk's investment vehicle Kulczyk Investments, told Parkiet.

"In-depth technical analysis and work on the structure of financing the entire project is currently underway," she added.

The plant can be seen as part of Belaurs' efforts to decrease its dependence on Russia for energy, but once constructed it will also supply energy to Polish homes as soon as a power connection is established.

Some 90 percent of Poland's energy is generated from burning coal, which releases large amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere. European Union carbon dioxide permits linked to coal plants are therefore likely to cost the Polish energy sector dearly in the future, unless it finds alternatives.

The import of energy from Belarus is seen as one cheaper option, because the country does not factor in such high carbon permit costs when selling power, governed as it is by less stringent environmental rules than the EU.


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