EBRD finances conversion of TAMEH power plant in Kraków

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD finances conversion of TAMEH power plant in Kraków

Environmental benefits from significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a long term loan of up to PLN 320 million (€75 million equivalent) for the conversion of a combined heat and power plant belonging to TAMEH Polska sp. z o.o., and currently located in Kraków’s ArcelorMittal steel plant, into a gas-fired unit.

The switch from coal to gas is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 200,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and bring the plant into compliance with European Union (EU) environmental requirements resulting from the Industrial Emissions Directive, which is coming into force in Poland in autumn 2018. Kraków is Poland’s second largest city and one of its most important economic centres.

The EBRD funds will be provided to TAMEH Polska, a joint venture between the ArcelorMittal Group, the world’s leading integrated steel company, and Tauron, a Polish energy utility company. TAMEH Polska provides the Polish steel plants of ArcelorMittal in Kraków and Dabrowa Gornicza with electricity, heat, blast and compressed air. The loan will finance an investment programme in Kraków which will not only benefit the environment but is also expected to set standards of corporate governance and business conduct.

The EBRD launched its Green Economy Transition approach last year, under which the Bank aims to increase green financing to 40 per cent of its total annual investments by 2020 compared with a target share of 25 per cent over the previous five years. Since the launch of the EBRD Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006, the Bank has invested over €18 billion in over 1,000 sustainable energy and resource projects with a total value of €97 billion.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Head of Manufacturing and Services, said: “We are very pleased to extend this loan to TAMEH because it serves a particularly important cause. Poland remains heavily reliant on coal-powered plants and urgent steps are needed in order to fulfil the country’s climate change obligations. The conversion of the Kraków plant shows a possible way forward and we expect this to become an example others will want to follow.”

Kristina Cervenkova, Chair of the Board of Directors at TAMEH Polska, said: “We are looking forward to completing this investment. Our objective is to continually improve our environmental footprint and thanks to this particular project we will also be able to increase our energy efficiency by making use of gases produced in the steelmaking process.”

The EBRD and Poland have been working together closely since the establishment of the Bank 25 years ago and it was here that the Bank made its first investment. To date, the EBRD has invested €8.13 billion in more than 370 projects in the country. The Bank’s activities include all sectors of the Polish economy. In recent years, following demand in the market, the EBRD has been particularly active in the development of the local capital market and in supporting energy efficiency and sustainable sources of energy.

Combating climate change is one of the EBRD’s key priorities under the its strategic plan for the period 2016-18 which has three main too – strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.