GE Gas Power announced that it has secured an order from Energa SA, one of the three largest electricity suppliers in Poland, part of the ORLEN Group for a GE 9HA.02 turnkey combined cycle power plant project for the Ostroleka C power plant, in North-East Poland. The new power plant is planned to start operations in 2025 with an installed capacity of 745 megawatts (MW).
“Our investment in Ostroleka will play a vital role in supporting the national electricity system and the security of future energy supply,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN ORLEN and acting CEO of Energa SA adding that this decade will see a growth in electricity demand and the phase-out of the oldest coal-fired power plants, therefore, ORLEN Group invests in stable power plants with the ability to supplement renewable energy sources.
He underlined that the Ostroleka C power plant will play a strategic role in supporting Poland’s and ORLEN’s decarbonisation efforts, reminding that the Group pledged to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 and a 33 per cent/MWh CO2 reduction in power generation by 2030.
The new plant will be powered by a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine, with the currently quickest ramp rate in the industry (88MW per minute), which will enable Energa to dispatch power quickly in response to grid fluctuations. The new unit is expected to help ensure the reliability of the energy system and support the growth of renewables in Poland’s energy mix.
“Once in operation and supplied with gas from the Poland-Lithuania Interconnector, Ostroleka will contribute to increasing the security of power supply in the country,” said Amit Kulkarni, Head of Product Management for Heavy Duty Gas Turbines at GE Gas Power adding that the advanced H-Class combined cycle plant technology will be key in the development of this strategic project, that can also have a significant spillover effect to the local economy, with large parts of the power generation equipment manufactured in the country.
To further decrease carbon emissions from gas power plants, the 9HA gas turbine that will be installed at Ostroleka power plant has the DLN 2.6e combustion system capable of burning up to 50 per cent by volume of hydrogen when blended with natural gas with a technology roadmap developed to achieve 100 per cent hydrogen in this platform over the next decade.
“GE sees hydrogen-blended natural gas accelerating the world’s efforts towards decarbonizing the power generation sector,” said Mr Kulkarni highlighting that GE’s H-Class technology can deliver highly efficient power generation that is ready, even today, to emit lower carbon when blended with hydrogen.
Ostroleka C was originally proposed as a 1,000 MW coal power plant, as a joined venture project of Energa (as of April 2020 owned by PKN Orlen) and the majority state-owned Enea. It was said to be the last new-built coal power plant in Poland.
However, Energa and Enea halted finance for the 1.4 billion euros project in February 2020 after struggling to obtain external financing. In May 2020, PKN Orlen stated it would only continue the project if coal was replaced by gas.