Rybnik Power Station

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Rybnik Power Station
Elektrownia Rybnik.jpg
Rybnik Power Station is located in Poland
Rybnik Power Station
Location of Rybnik Power Station in Poland
Country Poland
Location Rybnik
Coordinates 50°08′N 18°32′E / 50.133°N 18.533°E / 50.133; 18.533Coordinates: 50°08′N 18°32′E / 50.133°N 18.533°E / 50.133; 18.533
Status Operational
Commission date 1972
Owner(s) EDF
EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg
Elektrociepłownie Wybrzeże SA
Operator(s) Elektrownia Rybnik SA
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal
Power generation
Units operational 8 x 215 MW
Make and model Rafako
Nameplate capacity 1,720
Annual generation 9,000 GW·h

Rybnik Power Station is a hard coal-fired power station at Rybnik in Poland. The power station was built in the 1970s. It has installed power generation capacity of 1,775 MW. The average annual production of electricity amounts to 9 TWh.

Rybnik Power Station has two 120-metre (390 ft) tall cooling towers and two large flue gas stacks — one with a height of 260 metres (850 ft) and another with a height of 300 metres (980 ft).

This hard coal power plant is located on the outskirts of the city of Rybnik in Upper Silesia (Silesian Voivodeship) the most industrialized region of Poland were most of the hard-coal mines and the majority of hard-coal power plants are located. It is the biggest power plant in upper Silesia region.


The eight generation units of the Rybnik Power Station were commissioned in 1972–1978. In 1989, the Rybnik Power Station was separated from the Southern Power District and a separate state-owned company Elektrownia Rybnik was established. In 2001, the company was privatized to Électricité de France and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg.

Technical data[edit]

  • power: 1775 MW (7% of power installed in Poland)
  • annual energy production: 9436135 MWh
  • 8 units of 225 MW of power each operates based on coal with annual consumption amounting to 4-4,5 million tones.


Rybnik Power Plant had planned to construct a new unit of 910MW. The unit was supposed to begin operation in 2018 and projected to generate up to 8% of its energy from co-firing of hard coal with biomass. However since 19 December 2012 the project is suspended. EdF states that the reasons for the suspension of the project are: 1) the decision of the European Commission not to allow the new Rybnik coal-fired unit to be included in the National Investment Plan of the Republic of Poland resulting in the inability of EdF to compensate through the investment in this hard-coal unit for the CO2 emission allowances as allowed under Art 10c of the EU ETS directive, 2) projected reduction of support for coal and biomass co-firing in the most recent version of the proposed Polish renewable energy act, 3) dire economic outlook and the projected decrease of energy demand as compared to the 2008-2009 forecast, the business plan of the EdF Rybnik investment has been based on.

The new unit in Rybnik would produce approximately 4,7 million tones of CO2 per year and would cost EUR 1,8 billion and EdF planned to cover it from the group's own capital. However due to the increase in costs due to the Fukushima accident in 2011 and the economic downturn, it is no longer certain whether EdF is able to invest EUR 1,8 billion without resorting to the financial markets. The tender for supplying the boiler and the turbine hall to the new unit in Rybnik has been won by Alstom and is valued at 900 million euros.[1]

Social impact[edit]

One of the main problems of citizens living in the area of the investment is the bad air quality of Silesia region and Rybnik city in particular. On the 21st of November 2011 European Commission has sued Poland to the European Court of Justice for lack of progress in transposition of the Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe (CAFE) Directive (2008/50/EC), which should have been implemented in Poland by the 11th of June 2010. The directive requires in particular that the PM10 (larger dust particles) level does not exceed 50 miligrams/m³ more than 35 times a year. However this PM10 level is breached with much higher frequency in most Polish metropolitan areas including Rybnik and Jaworzno in the Silesia region. Recently a group of residents of Rybnik have taken the Polish state to court over the bad air quality and the lack of clear plans to improve the situation in the perceivable future.[2] The local health impacts from coal mining, transportation and combustion are also of a significant concern, and communities living in a proximity to these activities are experiencing adverse social impacts, such as loss of amenity, displacement, and loss of social capital as well as facing increased risks of respiratory disease, heart disease, and lung cancer.

Environmental impact[edit]

Burning coal is one of the most polluting ways of energy production. It causes significant changes to air quality through emissions of toxic substances such as SO2, NOx, small and large dust particles (PM10 and PM2.5) and heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. Coal burning is also the largest single contributor to GHGs emissions worldwide and thus has an impact on the climate of the region and the planet. Coal mining and coal combustion also cause serious water shortages and pollution both by modifying ground and subterranean water flows and sewage discharges that affect river and sea flora and fauna. Silesia region as well as Rybnik city itself are struggling with serious bad air conditions.[3]

  1. ^ BANKTRACK: Rybnik coal power plant Poland
  2. ^ http://gramwzielone.pl/dom-energooszczedny/5506/mieszkaniec-rybnika-pozwal-panstwo-za-zanieczyszczone-powietrze
  3. ^ ["Program ochrony powietrza dla stref gliwicko-mikołowskiej i częstochowsko-lublinieckiej województwa śląskiego, w których stwierdzone zostały ponadnormatywne poziomy substancji w powietrzu" funded by Silesian Voivodeship; Katowice 2011]