ORLEN Południe and the Marshal’s Office of the Małopolskie Voivodeship have been preparing pilot projects devoted to environment protection, and will apply for their financing to the European Union. A memorandum signed by the parties stipulates their cooperation until the end of 2030. Its details, as well as the scope of mutual projects will be specified this year.
Cooperation of the Małopolska local government and ORLEN Południe will take place under a community initiative of the Platform for Coal Regions in Transition and an integrated project LIFE EKOMAŁOPOLSKA - “Implementation of a Regional Action Plan for the Climate and Energy for the Małopolskie Voivodeship”.
- Currently, the Fair Energy Transition Fund has devoted the sum of EUR 3.5 billion to Poland. We hope that funds which will be allocated to Małopolska, will allow for implementing extensive investments to strengthen the economic growth of the region, create new jobs and mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of residents and on the economy of the western part of the Małopolska region - said the Marshal of the Małopolskie Voivodeship, Witold Kozłowski.
ORLEN Południe has competitive competences which are required for developing innovative, pilot projects under the program, and contributes to the development of the region through its investments. For many years now, the company has maintained its leading position on the market of biofuels and biocomponents, and is currently working towards transforming into a modern biorefinery.
- Transforming the energy market without incurring major social costs is one of the biggest challenges the Małopolska region is facing today - says Vice-Marshal Tomasz Urynowicz, a Fair Transition representative of the Małopolskie Voivodeship Board. - We need high environmental ambitions, and therefore we need more resources at our disposal, among others for modern investments in technologies and infrastructures providing cost-efficient, clean energy, reducing greenhouse emissions, improving energy efficiency and energy from renewable sources. We perceive our cooperation with ORLEN Południe as an immense opportunity for preparing to the transition process - explains Vice-Marshal Tomasz Urynowicz.
In its refinery in Trzebinia, ORLEN Południe has been currently developing hydrogen-based technologies. Production of fuel-grade hydrogen is to be launched in 2021. The construction of Poland’s first and Europe’s largest green propylene glycol is to commence at the same time in Trzebinia. Apart from this, the Trzebinia facility is also building its pilot installation for producing lactic acid using microorganisms. The company has also launched its biogas program which assumes the creation of a network of small-scale biomethane plants.
- ORLEN Południe has been increasingly engaged in sectors, in which ecological production is a priority. Developing our bioproduct portfolio, fuels of the future, zero-emissions power engineering or production effectiveness - are the bases for the company’s transformation. Production of hydrogen fuel is in line with this direction of development. At ORLEN Południe, we are paving the way for the ORLEN Group and for the whole country. We are constantly looking for new solutions and green technologies for our production plants - says Marcin Rej, the President of the Management Board of ORLEN Południe.
A memorandum signed by the parties stipulates their cooperation until the end of 2030. In this period, the parties will develop projects to be submitted for financing.
In October 2019, Małopolska launched the START project, under which experts from the Platform for Coal Regions in Transition have been assisting in the development of pilot projects to mitigate the effects of socioeconomic energy transformation in the western part of the region. Until June 2021, 4 concepts for such projects will be prepared.
In January 2020, the region joined the Platform for Coal Regions in Transition. Today, thanks to the efforts of the Local Government, Małopolska is listed as one of six Polish coal regions which will be entitled to applying for support under the Fair Energy Transition Fund.
- Today, we must focus on obtaining the highest possible financing under the Fair Energy Transition Scheme, in order to implement groundbreaking investments in this area. I believe that our cooperation with ORLEN Południe will contribute to this - said Vice-Marshal Tomasz Urynowicz.