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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » March 31, 2015
Finland in Poland
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Championing Low-Emission Energy
March 31, 2015   
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Mikael Lemström, CEO of energy company Fortum Power and Heat Polska, talks to Ewa Hancock.

Can you describe your company in a few words?
Fortum’s aim is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. We generate, distribute and sell electricity and heat, and offer related expert services. Our operations focus on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia and Poland. In 2010 we opened the Częstochowa combined heat and power plant, an investment project valued at around zl.530 million and meeting restrictive EU emissions regulations. We also produce heat and electricity in our two other combined heat and power plants in Zabrze and Bytom and own district heating networks in Częstochowa, Płock and Wrocław. We have a plan to expand in Poland with further investments such as new combined heat and power plants in Zabrze, Wrocław and Płock.

Nordic countries are often seen as champions of eco-friendly technology. Does that apply to Fortum?
Fortum believes that in the future, energy systems will be based on CO2-free production and resource efficiency. Our long-term strategy defines a path towards the “Solar Economy”—a gradual transition from traditional energy production based of finite energy sources and combustion fuels towards production based on infinite and zero-emission renewable energy sources. By sustainably applying that strategy we contribute to the creation of the low-emission energy sector.

How can your company contribute to low-emission methods in Poland?
Fortum’s international experience proves that every country should create its own tools and methods to optimize the use of locally available energy sources. That is why in Poland we support the development of high-efficiency cogeneration, which is the production of heat and electricity in one technological process. This significantly increases efficiency – even up to 90 percent in comparison to 30-45 percent in separate heat or electricity production. We believe that at present, cogeneration is one of the key solutions for the Polish energy sector. In the next couple of years it will strongly contribute to the implementation of environmental regulations imposed at the European level.

You’ve been in Poland for around five years now. What are your impressions of the country, as a Finn?
Poland is developing fast and, in my opinion, this is strongly related to the strong, resistant and decisive characters of Poles. When I came to Poland in 2010 what I found a bit surprising was the ease with which you articulated very strict opinions, which is definitely less common in Finland. At the same time, I was overwhelmed by Poles’ very open and friendly natures.
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