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MEC Piła (ENEA Group) to build a new cogeneration plant in north-west Poland

The ENEA Group company MEC Piła is set to build a new cogeneration (CHP) plant, combining a heat source with a RES installation, in Piła, a county town in the Province of Poznań (Greater Poland), north-west Poland. The new CAPEX project of MEC Piła, worth in excess of PLN 48 million, has been included in the list of projects positively assessed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management for obtaining the Fund’s co-financing. The project will be another step towards the comprehensive modernization of Piła’s heat generation system, whereas the plant itself, consisting of three gas-powered units, will help reduce emissions and thus smog formation.

The co-financing obtained by MEC Piła for the implementation of its new CAPEX project from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management comes from the Cohesion Fund under the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment for 2014-2020. Specifically, it comes from the funds allocated in the Cohesion Fund ‘to promote the use of high-efficiency cogeneration of heat and power based on the demand for usable heat’. The total value of the project exceeds PLN 48.6 million gross, and the co-financing applied for by MEC Piła is nearly PLN 18.5 million.

– Our application for project co-financing has successfully passed the formal assessment. Altogether, there were over 200 applications and the qualification criteria were very high and strict. Our project has successfully made it to the list of the projects positively assessed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. We have secured co-financing for the construction of a modern, stable heat and power cogeneration source that will meet the most stringent environmental standards. We shall complete all the formalities in the nearest future so that we can promptly start the project implementation – said Rafał Łaski, President of MEC Piła, an ENEA Group company.

Under the project, a new heat and power cogeneration plant will be constructed in Krzywa Street in Piła. The planned installation will rely on a system of three gas-powered cogeneration units with a total thermal capacity of 8.32 MWt and a total electrical capacity of 8.72 MWe. The annual generation of the plant is to reach up to 40,561.2 GJ for heat and 41,848.6 MWh for electricity. In summer months, the installation will generate sufficient heat to fully cover the demand for hot water, so that there will be no need to start up traditional coal-fired units.

Thanks to the use of modern RES generation solutions, MEC Piła will lower its demand for energy from conventional sources and thus contribute to the reduction of coal consumption and atmospheric emissions, e.g. of CO2. The project thus fits into the objectives of EU regulations on energy and climate, as well as of the draft Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040 (PEP2040), which envisages the revamp of the Polish heat generation sector and the development of modern cogeneration installations.

In Piła, the new cogeneration plant added to the heat generation system will make it possible to increase the overall share of heat generated in high-efficiency cogeneration installations, i.e. combined heat and power generation, from 32% to 51.4% in the regional heat generation mix. Additionally, the new installation will also improve the region’s energy security.

Upon the completion of the project, which also includes the construction of a RES installation (solar panels), the regional heat generation system in Piła will become energy efficient within the meaning of the Energy Law Act. This will allow MEC Piła to apply for additional subsidies for connecting new customers to its network, which in turn will help eliminate the so-called low emissions, which are the main culprit for smog formation.

ENEA Group has been consistently modernizing and redeveloping the regional heat generation and distribution system in Piła for several years now. MEC Piła invests in state-of-the-art heat generation solutions every year. Built at the cost of over PLN 43 million, the company’s first cogeneration plant – and the first one in Piła – has been successfully operating for 4 years. The company also consistently implements CAPEX projects aimed at revamping heat distribution networks – from pump stations to modern and energy-efficient pre-insulated pipes – as well as upgrading individual heat substations while decommissioning group heat substations. Over the last three years, the company’s investment and modernisation outlays have totalled nearly PLN 20 million. MEC Piła continues to minimize its environmental impact by applying the industry’s best available technologies – in the next two years, the company plans to spend over PLN 15 million on modernization and repairs of the heat generation and distribution system in Piła.