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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Energy prices in Poland. The Civic Coalition and trade unions at the round table on energy

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Solidarity trade unions are calling for a round table on energy. The talks would be attended by representatives of political forces and the social side. – Today the situation is such that one spits on each other, the sovereign pays, and there is practically no energy model developed together – said Bogdan Tkocz from Solidarity with the power unit of Jaworzno III Power Plant out of operation. Koalicja Obywatelska expressed the will to participate in the talks.

The chairman of the parliamentary club Koalicja Obywatelska – Civic Platform, Nowoczesna, Inicjatywa Polska, Zieloni Borys Budka and other members of the KO met on Saturday with journalists at the power unit Jaworzno III belonging to the Tauron Group, which was shut down from operation. The conference was attended by a group of about 20 trade unionists from Solidarity and Kontra, who interrupted the speeches of politicians.

– This is an example of the greatest incompetence of PiS. Six years in power, they can’t run this block. Unfortunately, it is such a situation that Prime Minister Morawiecki is called a traitor to the Polish mining industry by his colleagues – honorable gentlemen – said the head of the KO club. He argued that he and other MPs had come to Jaworzno to admonish “that the Polish energy sector should be managed by competent people.” In his opinion, the government “consumed” tens of billions of zlotys from energy certificates.

Press conference at the new power unit shut down in JaworznoPAP / Zbigniew Meissner

The 910 MW coal-fired unit at the Jaworzno III Power Plant built at a cost of over PLN 6 billion was delayed in November 2020. In June 2021, it was shut down due to faults currently being repaired by contractors from the Rafako-Mostostal Warszawa consortium. According to the original schedule of repair work, the block was to be commissioned by February 25, 2022. Parallel to the repair work, mediations between Tauron and the block contractor were conducted with the participation of the General Prosecutor’s Office. In December last year, the consortium of Rafako and Mostostal Warszawa and the NJGT company owned by Tauron signed a settlement, including a new schedule of repair works for the power unit in Jaworzno. The timing of the block’s synchronization with the grid is scheduled for April 29, 2022, and the end of the transition period is October 30, 2022.

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Energy prices in Poland

The trade unions accused the politicians of the Civic Platform who, in their opinion, were “doing their own PR” as incompetence and lying. In the opinion of trade unions, high prices are the effects of the Civic Platform policy from years ago, EU regulations and the focus on renewable energy sources. Trade unions were convinced that high energy prices were the result of the PO governments – Donald Tusk and Ewa Kopacz.

– This propaganda, which is, allows these people to believe that for the past six years a different option has been ruling in Poland. After all, it was you, as Solidarity, who blocked the supply of Polish coal to the power plant a moment ago, you are protesting against the energy policy of the Polish government (…) – replied Budka, shouted over by trade unionists. He added that the current government and people managing the energy sector are responsible for what is happening in the Jaworzno power plant.

– The prices of energy in Poland, both gas and electricity, are the result of incompetent governments for six years. Today, Prime Minister Morawiecki agreed to what is happening in the energy sector by signing relevant agreements in the EU, and now he is cowardly before coming to people here (…) – said the politician, encouraging the head of government to talk about energy.

The president of Tauron Wytwarzanie and Nowe Jaworzno Grupa Tauron (NJGT), Sebastian Gola, who also appeared at the conference of KO politicians, argued that energy prices are the result of the emission allowance system. – Today, fuel costs about PLN 120 in this block, maybe even less – about PLN 100 per megawatt hour. The price of a para-tax in the form of emission allowances is over PLN 400 – Gola pointed out.

Wojciech Saługa from KO pointed out that “the block behind us should produce cheap electricity in low-emission conditions, instead we produce electricity at a high price (…)”. – Yes, it was Donald Tusk who decided to build this block, and the PiS government, Prime Minister Morawiecki, and Minister Sasin are not able to start this block – said the deputy. As he emphasized, everyone wants the unit in Jaworzno to be launched as soon as possible.

Borys Budka and KO MP Wojciech Saługa during a press conference on “The real causes of high energy prices”PAP

On the other hand, MP Marek Sowa argued that if the unit in Jaworzno was in operation, last year’s savings due to the reduction of CO2 emissions would amount to approximately PLN 300 million. – These funds would stay in Tauron (…) What is happening here is the result of incompetence – added the KO MP.

Round table on energy

The mood was toned down by Bogdan Tkocz from Solidarity. – The energy sector should be a raison d’etat – the state should get along (…) It is not about fighting, but talking wisely about the Polish energy sector and looking for solutions, because the decisions of one party and some decisions of the other party are sometimes bad not for the state, for politicians, but for the sovereign – he said.

– We are calling for the organization of a round table on energy (…) Today the situation is such that one spits on each other, the sovereign pays, and there is practically no energy model developed together – added Tkocz.

On behalf of the KO, Budka declared that politicians from his party would appear anywhere to talk to the government about it. – But for this you need courage and I am asking for this courage and appealing to Prime Minister Morawiecki – to come here (…), to come and sit down for talks – said the MP from KO.

Main photo source: PAP / Zbigniew Meissner

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