The strategic document Energy Policy of Poland until 2030 includes the CCS technology as the clean coal technology to be developed in Poland until 2030, however the actual implementation of the possible CCS projects will depend on the scale and economic feasibility of the CCS technology. On 17th October 2013 Poland has enacted the Law on underground CO2 storage as the amendment of the Polish Geological and Mining Law which in turn is an implementation of the EU’s CCS Directive into the Polish regulatory framework. Nonetheless, when it comes to the national regulations regarding the permission for the underground CO2 storage, there is also the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment dated on 3rd September 2014 which states that the only geological structures in Poland where the CO2 storage for CCS demonstration projects is permitted, are geological aquifers under the Baltic Sea bottom in the area of the Polish economic zone. Information on different aspects of Poland’s CCS commitment can be found below:
A program launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Environment with a budget of €8 million identified suitable storage sites for geological storage of CO2 in Poland. This research project initiated by the Ministry of Environment and supported by domestic power companies concerned also a pilot CO2 injection into saline aquifers in the central Poland. Under another research program funded by The National Centre for Research and Development entitled Advanced energy technologies(program for the years 2010–2015) analyzed were technologies concerning efficient coal units integrated with CO2 capture and the oxyfuel technology for pulverized and fluidized – bed boilers integrated with CO2 capture.
The Polish Government formally submitted in 2008 to the European Commission information on possible two CCS demonstration projects to be developed: 1) at Bełchatow Power Plant and 2) in Kędzierzyn-Koźle (polygeneration power plant equipped with CCS technology). However the second project was abandoned in 2011 and the first one (which was relatively well advanced) was abandoned in 2013. Regarding the Kędzierzyn-Koźle polygeneration power plant, the project was reactivated in 2015 but with reduced technology infrastructure to be constructed. The newest version of the project excludes CCS installation, however it will be CCS-Ready. The final investment decision haven’t been made yet. The project is still being analyzed if its updated version will be economically feasible.
So far, two pilot CO2 capture plants were built: one with CO2 chemical absorption concept – Pilot Amine-Based CO2 Capture Plant and the second with adsorption process –VPSA (Vacuum-Pressure Swing Adsorption). The installations were used in on-site tests in Lagisza and Jaworzno coal power plants.
The key CCS/CCUS research centers in Poland are: The Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal (ICPC, ICHPW), The Central Mining Institute (CMI, GIG), The Clean Coal Technology Centre (CCTC), The Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute (PGI-NRI), AGH – The University of Science and Technology in Krakow, The Silesian University of Technology (Institute of Thermal Technology), The Częstochowa University of Technology.