A good neighbour for the Czech Republic and Germany
The Turoszów energy complex is a good neighbour for both the local community from Poland and the border areas of the Czech Republic and Germany.
In addition to their core activity, which is the production of electricity and lignite mining, the Turów Mine and Power Plant ensure sustainable development in the neighbouring area. In line with this approach, the construction of a hydroelectric power plant is planned, in which electricity produced from renewable energy sources will flow into the National Power System. In addition, a public charging station for electric cars has been set up at the Turów Power Plant, which can also be used by residents of the Czech Republic and Germany.
The mine is open to discussions even on the most complicated issues. As part of the licensing process, a detailed environmental report was prepared, which includes analyses of the expected impact and, above all, sets out the necessary measures to minimise the potential impact of the mine's operations:
- several thousand observations and motions were addressed, and participants in the proceedings, as well as other interested parties, were provided with essential information on all matters that raised concerns,
- in accordance with the requirements of national and EU law, representatives of administrative bodies, the public and the neighbouring countries, i.e. the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, participated in the environmental impact assessment procedure
- in line with the principles of good practice, PGE GiEK organised additional meetings, not required by legal regulations, with residents of the Czech Republic in autumn 2019 in Chotyne and Uhelna, during which they discussed the measures adopted to eliminate the potential impact of the Turów mine on the border areas,
- in the first half of 2019, meetings with residents of Opolno-Zdrój were also held, also in addition to standard procedures required by law,
In order to meet the expectations of the Czech society, the construction of an anti-filter screen is under way. Its basic aim is to create a permanent partition on the route of a stream of groundwater flowing into the mine drainage system. The anti-filter screen will be approx. 1100 metres long, with a width of approx. 1 metre and depth of 65 to 117 metres. This additional protection of the only source of drinking water in Uhelna by means of an anti-filter screen is a preventive measure. In accordance with the planning permission, completion of works under the contract for the construction of the screen is scheduled for the end of September 2021. After that date, hydrodynamic and technical tests and analyses will be carried out to check the effectiveness of the screen. If necessary, expansion of the screen will be possible. The effectiveness of the screen will be continuously monitored by a detailed Polish-Czech monitoring system.
Anti-filtration screens are the most common method of building hydro-insulation barriers. Low-pressure versions, such as the one at the Turów Mine, are used in the construction of impermeable screens in order to protect excavation sites and mine shafts, river embankments, water reservoirs, as well as secure deep construction pits or insulate landfills. They demonstrate a very high level of efficiency. Similar anti-filtration screens were made in diamond mines in Russia, including around the now closed Mir Mine in Mirny, the second deepest excavation on Earth, and during the sealing of the base of the Peribonka dam in Canada. In Poland, this type of anti-filtration screen has been operating for three years in Katowice at the Czułów mine shaft. Last year, the construction of a hydro-insulation barrier in the open-cast amber mine in Górka Lubartowska was completed, thus enabling safe amber mining.
Apart from its core activities, PGE GiEK also runs a number of corporate social responsibility activities, supporting local initiatives and helping the organisation of cultural, educational and sports events in the region. The mine and power plant actively respond to needs of the local community reported by local governments and non-governmental organisations.
Funds donated to entities in the Zgorzelec Poviat helped purchase, among others, fire equipment for the Voluntary Fire Brigade in Zawidowo and motor pumps for the Voluntary Fire Brigade in Bierna, computers for the computer lab and reading room at the Secondary School in Zgorzelec, and also helped organise trips for children and youngsters.
Additionally, the mine and the power plant sponsored numerous events, such as the organisation of the 13th International Senior Singers Festival "Singing Seniors", sports competitions and amateur teams from the Zgorzelec region, including The Three Borders Bridge Tournament and the 12th Preschool Sports Olympics, as well as the organisation of other local events, festivals and concerts.
The complex is actively involved in the fight against the COVID -19 pandemic. The power plant and the mine have purchased essential personal protective equipment for nursing homes, the police and the fire brigade.
In cooperation with PGE, the Ministry of State Assets and the Ministry of Health, donations were also made to health care centres operating in the immediate vicinity of the Power Plant and the Turów Mine – the Multi-specialist Hospital - Independent Public Health Care Centre in Zgorzelec, Independent Public Health Care Centre in Bogatynia, Private Health Care Centre - Łużyce Medical Centre in Lubań and the 4th Military Clinical Hospital with Polyclinic - Independent Public Health Care Centre in Wrocław.
The Turów Power Plant and Mine are also involved in supporting the following programmes:
- "Forests Full of Energy" - an initiative carried out annually in cooperation with the PGE Foundation, school students and forest inspectorates from the Zgorzelec Poviat - in total about 26 million trees and shrubs have already been planted
- The "PGE Pomagamy" employee volunteering programme - in Turów volunteers have carried out several projects, including ones in cooperation with the Small Animal Shelter in Dłużyna Górna, the Integration Workshop of the Bogatynia Cultural Centre, the Jasna Góra Village and the Bogatynia "Amazonka" Association. One of the projects was "LEDschool" carried out at Public Kindergarten No. 3 with Integration Classes in Bogatynia.
- Power School Bag - a campaign to fund school kits for children from families at risk of social exclusion. In total, 544 school bags with school supplies were provided as part of the campaign.
- A play titled "Pstryk and Bzik Become Enlightened" - performed in kindergartens and primary schools in the Zgorzelec Poviat, where the main characters, Pstryk and Bzik, explain to small children how to safely use electrical equipment and provide basic information about energy.