Poland’s Minister for Energy Tchórzewski is desperately looking for the missing 3 billions for the construction of Ostrołęka C. His latest idea is to take over 20 billion from the unionists' pension funds.
Ostrołęka C is expected to cost at least PLN 6.02 billion. Energa and Enea will give one billion each. However, it is still unclear who would cover the remaining costs. What has been revealed is that the financing is going to be decided “soon” and that it will be "innovative". On 5 September, media reported that a third player joined the Ostrołęka C project - PLN 1 billion will be provided by FIZAN Found which belongs to Polish utility PGE. In response, PGE's shares went down by 4.4% despite utility immediately denying that the money accumulated in FIZAN belong to PGE and that this agreement is at an early stage of negotiations. Whose money is allocated in FIZAN then? It remains a secret, although the Ministry of Energy already has plans for it.
When asked by journalists, Minister Tchórzewski revealed where the money for Ostrołęka C would come from:
I hope that pension funds created in energy companies will come to this FIZAN. Funds for retirement programs are scattered in various entities around the world. In total, about PLN 20 billion is located there. (...) What you do with employee resources must be agreed with the trade unions. It's the decision of the trade unions and the employees, where the funds are invested.
The situation was summed up for "Puls Biznesu" by Kazimierz Grajcarek, former chairman of the Secretariat of Mining and Power Industry of NSZZ Solidarność:
As a general rule, the money for retirement should be invested in projects that generate constant profits. The deeply unviable Ostrołęka C is definitely not one of them. This project might bring at least 2,34 billion losses.
It is hard to believe that unions would agree on investing their retirement pay for the construction of an unviable and unnecessary power plant. The Minister's new idea is an act of desperation. The construction of a coal-fired power plant in the era of clean, renewable energy development and global struggle against climate change is completely detached from reality - comments Diana Maciąga from Association Workshop for All Beings.