A authorities challenge to construct what was meant to be Poland’s final new coal energy station, however which was deserted final 12 months, value a complete of 1.5 billion zloty (€327 million). The overwhelming majority, 1.3 billion zloty, was irretrievably misplaced, based on the state auditor, which says it should report “severe irregularities” within the spending to prosecutors.
The cash was spent on the design, preparatory work, virtually two years of building and eventually demolition of the coal-fired plant, often known as Ostrolęka C, in addition to on salaries for managers of the challenge, discovered the Supreme Audit Workplace (NIK).
Poland’s “final new coal energy plant” being dismantled after costing state corporations over 1.5 billion zloty
The primary motive for the challenge’s failure, based on NIK, was the shortage of assured sources of financing, with virtually 4.2 billion zloty missing. Earlier than the funding began, unbiased consultants had warned that it might be unprofitable
Witness testimonies present that the then vitality minister, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, was conscious that there have been inadequate funds to finish building, discovered NIK. Nevertheless, the vitality corporations behind the facility plant, Energa and Enea, indicated they have been pressured by the state treasury – their largest shareholder – to complete the challenge.
In testimony printed by NIK, one board member of Energa stated that Ostrołęka C “was wanted from the standpoint of calming public sentiment in Silesia”, referring to Poland’s southern coal heartlands, there the influential mining trade is against a speedy transition away from coal.
[Tekst PREMIUM] @g_lakomski i @LukaszKarusta dotarli do protokołów przesłuchań przeprowadzonych przez NIK w ramach kontroli procesu inwestycji Ostrołęka C. Jako pierwsi publikujemy fragmenty tych dokumentów.https://t.co/RFO3B5EwAW
— tvn24 (@tvn24) June 1, 2022
“We discovered severe irregularities,” NIK president Marian Banaś instructed TVN24, including that the authority will notify prosecutors concerning its findings. Banaś, beforehand a member of the present authorities, has as head of NIK turn into one in all its strongest opponents.
One opposition MP, Adam Szłapka of Trendy (Nowoczesna), has already notified prosecutors of what he suspects are crimes regarding the challenge by Tchórzewski, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and state property minister Jacek Sasin, reviews monetary information service Cash.pl
“Ostrołęka is a monument to [the ruling] PiS [party’s] incompetence, greed and cronyism,” stated one other opposition MP, Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz of Civic Platform (PO), which can also be meaning to notify prosecutors.
📽️ Okradli Polaków na 1,3 mld zł. https://t.co/vCklTk7iwt
— Platforma NEWS 🇵🇱✌️ (@NewsPlatforma) June 2, 2022
Tchórzewski, nevertheless, has pushed again in opposition to the accusations, saying that every one his choices have been made in accordance with the regulation. “I attempted to do the whole lot to make sure Poland’s vitality safety,” he instructed TVN24. “If I used to be nonetheless the [energy] minister, I’m satisfied that this energy plant could be constructed.”
After abandoning the coal plant, Energa as an alternative started building of a gas-fired energy station on the identical web site. The agency introduced on Thursday that its evaluation reveals the brand new funding will nonetheless be worthwhile, even after making an allowance for the prices of the coal challenge.
“The continuation of the challenge in gasoline know-how is carried out with full funding financing,” the corporate stated within the assertion. The plant is anticipated to begin supplying energy in 2026.
Poland continues to generate round 70% of its electrical energy from coal, by far the very best proportion within the European Union. Whereas the present national-conservative Regulation and Justice (PiS) authorities was initially supportive of coal, it has in recent times adopted extra formidable targets to maneuver away from the fossil gasoline.
Coal drops from 87% to 71% of Poland’s vitality combine in a decade, with renewables as much as 17%
Most important photograph credit score: Max Zieliński / Greenpeace (below CC BY-ND 2.0)
Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She beforehand labored for Reuters.