Poland carves out toxic Coal in Spinoffs

Poland is moving ahead with a plan to restructure its power industry that would carve out coal-fired plants from the country’s biggest utilities, a major step to wean one of the European Union’s biggest polluters off its reliance on carbon.

The plan — drafted by the Ministry of State Assets and modeled on Germany’s successful shift away from the dirty energy source — will be handed over for further work at the government level next week, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin told RMF FM radio on Saturday.

“It’s a massive project that we’ve been preparing for many months,” he said. The aim is to create a separate entity for coal-fired plants that will give “state-controlled energy companies some room to breathe and to obtain financing, also for new investments.”

Siphoning off and consolidating the coal assets, a policy Germany pursued after 2014, would help publicly-traded utilities like PGE SA and Tauron Polska Energia SA to clean up their act and transform the country’s energy landscape to meet the EU’s increasingly strict emissions norms. It would also separate the toxic assets from the scrutiny of stock market investors concerned about utility profits.

Poland will seek the European Commission’s approval to boost the capital of the new coal-plant entity to avoid power-price increases for consumers, Sasin told the radio. Meanwhile, state-owned power companies will be able to invest in cleaner energy sources such as offshore wind farms, natural gas and nuclear energy, he added.


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