Project – On recordThis profile is no longer actively maintained, with the information now possibly out of date
Kuba Gogolewski, Finance Campaigner and Project Coordinator at Fundacja "Rozwoj TAK - Odkrywki NIE"
What must happen
All banks should refrain from providing loans and all other forms of services to ZE PAK until the company presents a credible diversification plan that would align the company with a 1.5 degree Celsius energy transition trajectory agreed in Paris and ratified by the EU-28 and Poland in 2016. Banks having open credit facilities with ZE PAK or PAK KWB Konin should let them expire and resist the temptation to prolong them for another year. As the creation of a feasible renewable-based backup plan has been delayed for years, it is highly probable that ZE PAK has no long-term plans and opts for short-term delay or bankruptcy.
Insurance companies providing underwriting to the company namely Allianz, Munich:Re (via its Polish subsidiary Ergo Hestia), Talanx (via its Polish subsidiary Warta) and UNIQA should refrain from prolonging the current contract for insurance coverage; property from any risk, loss of profit due to any risk, machinery and devices from damage, loss of profit due to machinery and device failure, electronic equipment from all risk, machinery and devices from electric damage and let the contact expire on the 31.03.2019.
The Oscislowo open-pit lignite mine is a proposed new mine located at the lignite deposit in eastern Greater Poland Voivodeship. The geological resources of Oscislowo deposit amount to over 41 million tonnes and will be used in the power stations Patnow I and II with total power output of over 1.7 GW. The main investor in the project is ZE PAK SA subsidiary PAK Kopalnia Wegla Brunatnego Konin SA.
Social and human rights impacts
For construction of this mine project to go ahead, 223 hectares of fertile agricultural land in the Ślesin commune, 2 ha in the Skulsk commune and 100 ha in the Wilczyn commune would need to be destroyed. The currently proposed variant of the project would also require the destruction of 22 ha of a 5,500 year old burial mound of a pre-Slavic culture. Moreover, more than 560 people would need to be resettled and thirteen settlements and villages would have to be destroyed. Forty-seven water wells and 1,580 ha of land would disappear, with impacts extending to lakes, rivers and local agricultural production. In total more than 5,000 people would be impacted directly or indirectly by the Ościsłowo mine – as of the end of 2011, these three communes were inhibited by 25,500 people with 1,780 economic entities also registered in them.
According to the expert analysis drawn up by Benedykt Pepliński, Ph.D., the total cost of mining lignite in the Ościsłowo open-pit mine, estimated only for farming and the agricultural and food industry, stands at between PLN 2.63 billion (EUR 611.6 million) (the open-cast pit + areas estimated for the depression cones by the authors of the report on the environmental impact of this undertaking and the more realistic, according to the author of the analysis, PLN 4.22 billion (EUR 981 million).
Environmental and climate impacts
First, any additional burning of lignite by households would prevent improvements in air quality which has already been seriously impacted by domestic burning of lignite derived from ZE PAK mines.
Emissions into the air from only the Ościsłowo and Dęby Szlacheckie deposits – taking into account only the open-pit mines (if they are realised), and excluding the power plants in which lignite would be burned – would annually contribute in the territory of Poland to: approximately 20 premature deaths, approximately 90 cases of chronic bronchitis in adults, approximately 600 cases of bronchitis in children and approximately 9,000 sick days. A study has estimated that the health costs resulting from premature deaths will amount to a total of between PLN 1.1 billion and 1.6 billion (EUR 255-372 million) for the entire period of the Ościsłowo mine’s operations.
The construction of new open-pit lignite mines on the Ościsłowo and Dęby Szlacheckie deposits will prolong toxic emissions from the Pątnów I and Pątnów II power plants generating additional health costs of over EUR 500 million per each extra year of operations. Although Konin power plant and two units at Pątnów I power plant will by then have been closed, resulting in a decisive decrease in health costs generated by ZE PAK, the Company’s profits will still be several times lower than the amount of health costs generated by it.
Since lignite has been mined, the amount of water pumped out in Wielkopolska (12 billion m3) has amounted to over 18 times as much as there is in lake Śniardwy (660 million m3), or, to put it differently, to over 70% of the total volume of all the lakes in Poland (17 billion m3). The plans for the Ościsłowo open-pit mine also require significant dehydration works.
The commencement of lignite extraction from the Ościsłowo open-pit mine would cause the displacement of over 550 people, loss of income in farming and the food industry amounting to between PLN 2.63 and 4.22 billion (EUR 619 and 993 million), and health costs generated by the Ościsłowo open-pit mine exceeding PLN 100 million (EUR 23.5 million) a year, i.e. a total of between PLN 1.1 and 1.6 billion (EUR 258.8 and 376.5 million) for the entire lifespan of the mine’s operation.
In 2016 ancient megalithic tombs were discovered in the location of the planned Ościsłowo mine. These five and a half thousand year old constructions are a priceless historical heritage of the Wielkopolska region. After an extensive archaeological research of the site the tombs have been placed on the legally binding list of archaeological monuments on 09.02.2018. Creation of the open-pit mine would inevitably lead to the destruction of the anicent site.
2020-12-30 00:00:00 | ZE Pak stops its coal mining and coal power generation by 2030
ZE PAK SA - an energy concern, producing energy mainly from lignite so far, has decided to stop its coal mining and electricity produced from coal by 2030. See the company's press release here.
2020-09-24 00:00:00 | Oscislowo coal mine has been cancelled
ZE PAK, the project's sponsor, announced that the Oscislowo coal mine project had been cancelled (ZE PAK press release).
2017-03-14 00:00:00 | ZE PAK power fails to secure environmental assessment for Oscislowo open-pit mine
Power and mining complex ZE PAK failed to secure an environmental assessment for the planned construction of an open-pit mine in Oscislowo and will appeal against the decision issued by the regional environmental protection head in Poznan, the company said in a market filing (source PAP Biznes).