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Polish PGE invests in circular economy research centre

Earlier this month, the Polish majority state-owned electricity producer, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), inaugurated its “Centre for Research and Development of the Circular Economy”, located in Bełchatów (central Poland). The research centre will develop and implement solutions aimed at the “optimal use of post-industrial waste from the power industry and the recovery of valuable raw materials from depleted RES installations”. The investment is being carried out by PGE Ekoserwis, responsible for ecological and economic solutions in the PGE Group.

“The Circular Economy Centre is another element of the transformation of the Bełchatów region implemented by us. Last year, we opened the Competence Development Centre, which supports coal sector employees in acquiring new competencies. Thanks to the established Circular Economy Centre, we will create new jobs and further development opportunities for our employees. I am convinced that the centre, which is unique on a national scale, will attract many specialists to Bełchatów and will play an important role in its development,” said the President of the Management Board of PGE, Wojciech Dąbrowski. “The role of the circular economy is constantly growing. In the PGE Group, we have established a special segment that performs tasks in the field of closing the circulation of raw materials, and the Circular Economy Centre is in line with the objectives of our strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.”

The Circular Economy Centre will aim to develop technologies for waste processing, recovery of raw materials and production of full-value products from the obtained resources, as well as the development of specialised solutions for renewable energy sources (RES) dedicated to solar installations and wind farms.

“By launching the Circular Economy Centre as a specialist research centre, we focus on increasing the innovation and implementation potential for raw material recovery processes. The selection of appropriate technologies, with simultaneous care for nature and climate, as well as business efficiency are challenges for specialists in many areas that our research centre integrates,” said the President of the Management Board of PGE Ekoserwis, Lech Sekyra. “Bearing in mind the challenges arising from the energy transformation, we are also planning further stages of development of our resources, including specialised laboratory facilities. We also want to focus on cooperation with the world of science in order to focus on scientific and research projects in synergy in order to develop innovative and commercial solutions. Our goal is to achieve real business outcomes resulting from the implemented projects.”

In terms of its organisational structure, the centre will consist of the Research and Development Department (Recycling and Raw Material Recovery Section and Production Technology Section), Laboratory Department and Factory Production Control Department.

PGE Ekoserwis has several decades of experience in managing combustion by-products from the energy sector in “various economic directions”, according to PGE’s press release. Annually, the company manages nearly 7 million tonnes of waste and by-products from the energy sector. 

The implementation of circularity of raw materials in the PGE Group enables the economical and ecological use of ashes, slag and gypsum as full-value products, limiting reliance on natural resources. As a result, waste is not stored and the extraction of natural resources is decreased. This also reduces the cost of many domestic investments, such as roads, highways, railway embankments or airports.

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