Bełchatów Power Station
|Bełchatów Power Station|
Bełchatów Power Station
|Official name||Elektrownia Bełchatów|
|Location||Bełchatów, Łódź Voivodeship|
|Operator(s)||PGE Elektrownia Bełchatów S.A.|
|Units operational||12 x 370/380 MW
1 x 858 MW
|Nameplate capacity||5,298 MW (installed)
5,474 MW (max. planned)
|Annual generation||27-28 TWh|
The Bełchatów Power Station is a large 5,053 MW lignite-fired power station situated near Bełchatów in Łódź Voivodeship, Poland. It is the largest thermal power station in Europe, and fourth largest fossil fuel power stations in the world. It produces 27-28 TWh of electricity per year, or 20% of the total power generation in Poland. The power station is owned and operated by PGE Elektrownia Bełchatów S.A., a subsidiary of Polska Grupa Energetyczna.
In 2011 a new 858 MW unit was commissioned and the total capacity of the power has risen to 5,053 MW. The new unit has an efficiency rating of approximately 42%, which is contributing to reduction of both fuel consumption and emissions compared to the existing units. The unit was built by Alstom. Alstom has also carried out the modernization of the low pressure parts in all 12 turbines and on 8 April 2009, PGE and Alstom signed a contract to modernise unit 6. Modernization of other units is planned or ongoing, thus total installed capacity may reach 5,474 MW as of 2015.
The station's exhaust is expelled through two 300 m (980 ft) tall chimneys, among Poland's tallest free-standing structures. Coal for the plant is provided by a large neighboring strip mine.
Carbon dioxide emissions
In 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature ranked the power station as Europe's 11th most relatively polluting power station due to carbon dioxide emissions of 1.09 kg per kWh of energy produced, and the highest absolute emitter, with 30.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In July 2009, the facility was titled as the biggest carbon polluter in the European Union by the Sandbag Climate Campaign, a London based non-profit organization. The report stated that the facility produced 30,862,792 tonnes of CO2 in 2008, and after commissioning the new unit, the whole generating capacity will have grown by 20%.
To reduce CO2 emissions, the company plans to introduce carbon capture and storage technology. On 8 December 2008, PGE and Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding, according to which Alstom will design and construct a pilot carbon capture plant at Unit 12 by mid-2011. The larger carbon capture plant will be integrated with the new 858 MW unit by 2015. The project will be supported by the European Commission with the €180 million allocation from the European Energy Programme for Recovery.
In April 2014, the European Commission has ranked Bełchatów Power Station the most climate-damaging power plant in the European Union, with CO2 emissions of roughly 37,2 million tonnes in 2013. 
- List of largest power stations in the world
- List of least carbon efficient power stations
- List of coal power stations
- Elektrownia Bełchatów pełną mocą, retrieved 2011-08-07
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- "European dirty thirty".
- Macalister, Terry (2009-07-23). "Meet Belcha – Europe's biggest carbon polluter (and it's about to get even bigger)". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- "Alstom teams up with PGE Elektrownia Belchatow to reduce CO2 output in Poland" (Press release). Alstom. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- "List of 15 energy projects for European economic recovery". European Commission. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- "EU lines up funding for six carbon capture projects". Power Engineering International (PennWell Corporation). 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
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