The Bełchatów Coal Power Plant is a large 4,440 MW lignite-fired power station situated near Bełchatów, Poland. It is the largest thermal power station in Europe, and the second largest fossil fuel power station in the world. It produces 27-28 TWh of electricity, or 20% of the total power generation in Poland. The power station is owned and operated by PGE Elektrownia Bełchatów S.A., a subsidiary of Polska Grupa Energetyczna.

After construction of the new 858 MW unit the total capacity of the power station will rise to 5,258 MW. The new unit, scheduled to be operational in October 2010, will have efficiency rating of approximately 42%, which will contribute to reduction of both fuel consumption and emissions compared to the existing units. The unit is built by Alstom. Alstom has also carried out the modernisation of the low pressure parts in all 12 turbines and on 8 April 2009, PGE and Alstom signed a contract to modernise the unit 6.

The station's exhaust is expelled through two 300 m (980 ft) tall chimneys, among Poland's tallest free-standing structures.

In 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature ranked the power station as Europe's 11th most relatively polluting power station due to carbon dioxide emissions of 1.09 g per kWh of energy produced, and the highest absolute emitter, with 30.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In July 2009, the facility was titled as the biggest carbon polluter in the European Union by the Sandbag Climate Campaign, a London based non-profit organization. The report stated that the facility produced 30,862,792 tonnes of CO2 in 2008 and after commissioning the new unit the whole generating capacity will have grown by 20%.

To reduce CO2 emissions the company plans to introduce the carbon capture and storage technology. On 8 December 2008, PGE and Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding according to which Alstom will design and construct by mid 2011 a pilot carbon capture plant at Unit 12. The larger carbon capture plant will be integrated with the new 858 MW unit by 2015. The project will be supported by the European Commission with the €180 million allocation from the European Energy Programme for Recovery.

Bełchatów Power Station

The Bełchatów Power Station.
Location Bełchatów, Poland
Coordinates 51°15′59″N 19°19′50″E / 51.26639°N 19.33056°E / 51.26639; 19.33056Coordinates: 51°15′59″N 19°19′50″E / 51.26639°N 19.33056°E / 51.26639; 19.33056
Owner PGE Elektrownia Bełchatów S.A.
Status Operational
Fuel Coal (Lignite)
Turbines 12
Installed capacity 4,440 MW
Annual generation 27-28 TWh