ORLEN Group invests in advanced and stable power generation

The cornerstone has been laid in Grudziądz for a 560 MW gas-fired power plant. It will be one of the most advanced plants of its kind in Europe, providing electricity to a million households. The use of a highly flexible CCGT unit will ensure that the new plant will work effectively with renewable energy sources, thereby contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions without the risk of disrupting electricity supply to consumers.

,,The ORLEN Group is pursuing the most ambitious energy transition strategy in our region. The goal is emission neutrality, therefore wind and PV farm generation will be complemented by state-of-the-art highly flexible gas-fired power plants, capable of responding quickly to changes in RES generation. This will make it possible for us to ensure a stable electricity supply to consumers regardless of weather conditions or time of day. In doing so, we rely on cutting-edge solutions to ensure high operational efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness. The CCGT unit to be built in Grudziądz, with an efficiency exceeeding 60 percent and which can be put into operation in just 30 to 90 minutes, will be just that", says Daniel Obajtek, President of PKN ORLEN's Management Board.

Start-up time is one of the key parameters for plants intended for balancing the operation of the Polish Power System. The shorter it is, the easier it is to respond to the variability of RES electricity generation. In this respect, the unit being built by CCGT Grudziądz, a subsidiary of Energa of the ORLEN Group, will achieve one of the highest performance levels in the market and thus it will play an important role in ensuring the country's energy security.

The contract for the construction of the 560 MW plant was signed in May 2022. Currently, the piling continues, as well as the reinforcement and pouring of foundation slabs. At the same time, the construction of supporting infrastructure (including internal service roads, storage and pre-assembly yards, warehouses, etc.) is under way. The completion of foundation work for the heart of the unit – a turbine set consisting of gas and steam turbines and a generator – is scheduled for the next quarter.

Prefabricated reinforcing steel, anchoring elements for major machinery and equipment are manufactured in factories in Poland and abroad which are necessary for construction and structural work, and elements for the heat recovery steam generator are also already manufactured.

The total progress of all work is estimated at nearly 20 percent, with design work at around 70 percent. The completion of the foundation work in respect of the plant's key equipment, including the gas and steam turbines and the generator, is scheduled for the first half of 2024. The plant will become operational in 2025.

The investment project is managed by the consortium of Siemens Energy. and Mytilineos. The technology to be used in the construction of the unit in Grudziądz will be one of the most advanced solutions available on the market. The CCGT unit under construction will have high efficiency, more than 60 percent under nominal conditions, high availability and the already mentioned flexibility of operation.

,,We are one again cooperating with the ORLEN Group by building a power plant and deliver a high-efficiency gas and steam unit. The investment in Grudziądz is an extremely significant milestone on Poland’s map towards decarbonisation the energy sector in our country, which will be reflected in reducing CO2 emissions. In the future, our technology will allow for the co-combustion of a mixture of gas and hydrogen, ultimately only hydrogen, thus ensuring the security of electricity supplies” - says Grzegorz Należyty, Vice President Eastern Europe & Managing Director of Siemens Energy in Poland.

,,Mytilineos Energy & Metals has a vast experience in the construction of state-of-the-art CCGTs, both for major clients and for the company itself, helping countries and entities to reduce greenhouse emissions towards a “cleaner” future.” Οur goal is continuous development and growth centered around the return of value for our stakeholders, our people and the communities we reach. We are proud to be working with local contractors and to employing most of our workforce on this site among Polish talents”, adds Kostas Horinos, Executive Director for Power Projects at Mytilineos.

To date, the General Contractor's staff have safely worked nearly 80,000 man-hours on site, without a single accident. The work is currently being carried out by about eighty people, but at its peak, when the installation of the main plant equipment begins, the number will rise to about 600.

In total, the construction of the unit will require the pouring of about 30,000 m3 of reinforced concrete, the use of a total of about 10,000 tonnes of reinforcing and structural steel, over 500 tonnes of pipes and more than 400 km of cables. The power plant’s turbine set alone will weigh a total of more than a thousand tonnes.

In December 2021, a 17-year capacity market contract was signed with the Transmission System Operator, with first supplies planned in 2026. The power plant in Grudziądz contracted 518 MW of capacity in total, which guarantees it will earn at least PLN 3.5 billion in revenue.

The power plant in Grudziądz will be one of the largest and most advanced investment projects of its kind in Poland. It is an important element of the expansion of the energy segment, based on renewable power generation and stable low-emission sources, in line with the ORLEN Group’s 2030 strategy. By 2030, the Group intends to increase the installed capacity of its gas-fired power plants from 1.7 GW to 4 GW. The Grudziądz power plant and the CCGT unit which is being built in parallel in Ostrołęka will be rated at 1.3 GW in total.

The development of gas-fired power generation requires securing adequate volumes of the fuel, i.e., natural gas. The ORLEN Group extracts this raw material on its own, first of all in Poland and in Norway, from where the gas can be supplied to Poland through the Baltic Pipe pipeline opened in 2022. Last year's domestic and international extraction by the ORLEN Group amounted to 7.7 bcm of gas, which corresponds to around 45 percent of the domestic demand for the raw material. ORLEN Group also has contracts in place for the supply of gas by foreign partners operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, as well as long-term contracts for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States and Qatar. In order to optimize LNG transport, the Group is developing its own fleet of advanced gas carriers.