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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 3, 2009
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Millions for Polish Energy Sector
June 3, 2009 By L.Ż.    
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Poland will be one of the main beneficiaries of a European Union energy plan approved by the European Parliament.

Eurodeputies have approved a list of energy projects eligible for EU funds as part of measures to counteract the ongoing economic crisis. The plan still needs to be formally approved by the member states, but the European Parliament has already consulted it with the Council of the European Union, the principal decision-making body of the bloc. In practice, this means that the adopted list is final, observers say.

The European Commission proposed the plan in November last year, but member states then engaged in a prolonged dispute over what it should look like. The outcome of the dispute is favorable to Poland, experts say, because new Polish projects have been added to the list and none of the initial ones has been removed from it. As a result, a total of 660 million euros will be spent under the plan on energy projects located wholly or partly in Poland.

The plan is designed to enhance the EU's energy security. It sets aside more than 2.3 billion euros to modernize the bloc's electricity and gas infrastructure. Poland will receive 80 million euros to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northwestern seaport of ¦winouj¶cie. It will also get part of another 80 million euros that has been set aside for the modernization of gas pipelines, and 20 million euros for the construction of a pipeline linking the Polish and Slovak gas systems.

The plan also aims to promote the use of clean energy sources. A total of 565 million euros is earmarked for offshore wind farms, with Poland receiving 150 million euros to build infrastructure allowing it to use electricity from a wind farm on the Baltic Sea that will also supply Sweden, Germany and Denmark. Also, over 1 billion euros will be spent on carbon capture and storage installations. Of that, the Bełchatów power plant in central Poland is expected to land 180 million euros.
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