Illegal Actions by Greenpeace


On 17 March, members of the Greenpeace organisation illegally trespassed on the premises of the Turów Complex, causing disruption to the mining plant. At present, the supply of electricity to about 2.3 million Polish households is not at risk. PGE GiEK services are evaluating the financial damage resulting from Greenpeace’s action.

Greenpeace’s protest on the premises of the Turów Mine, inspired in part by Czech activists, is connected with the demand to close down, as fast as possible, the Turów Complex, one of the largest and most important electricity generators in Poland.

Greenpeace’s demands are impracticable. They would result in making Poland dependent on energy imported from abroad, and thousands of Turoszów region inhabitants would lose their jobs overnight. The Mine and Power Plant employ directly about 5,300 people. And the employees of subsidiaries and cooperating entities along with their families are another 60‑80 thousand. Closing down the Turów Mine and Power Plant without any long-term transition programme would lead to the collapse of the local labour market, a dramatic rise in unemployment and bankruptcy of hundreds of companies.

It is worth noting that the Turów Mine is the only mine in the region that is so much under attack by environmental organisations. In the Czech Republic, about 85 km from the Polish border, lignite mines much larger than the Turów one operate, and the same is true for Germany - only 60 km from the Polish border, in the Lusatian lignite mining district. The Czech mines are five times the size of the Turów mine, while the German mines extract almost ten times more lignite than Polish ones.
Furthermore, in the Lusatian district the Czechs run four power plants considered significant emitters of air pollutants. In the near future, an entirely new opencast mine is to start its operations in the Lusatian Basin.

In its new 2030 strategy with an outlook to 2050, the PGE Group has comprehensively presented its energy transition pathway.

While developing its Strategy, the PGE Group has been working also on the transformation of the regions where the conventional power industry - such as the Turoszów energy complex - is an important employer. According to PGE’s plans, the present mining and energy complexes will hold investments in renewable energy sources. In addition, PGE will actively support the local population as regards creating new jobs, reskilling and providing trainee programmes. The Turów Complex is already on the path of energy transition, which requires also the decarbonisation of power generation. However, this will be an evolutionary process.

Taking into account social and economic issues, as well as Poland’s energy security, closing down the Turów Mine overnight could lead to disastrous consequences. The related technological, business, social and environmental losses have been preliminarily estimated at the level of 13,500 million zlotys. They would result for instance from the lack of electricity generation, the necessity to terminate capacity agreements, the costs of completed modernisation works adapting energy systems to the BAT conclusions, the fact of rendering the investment in building a modern power unit of 496 MW at the Turów Power Plant unprofitable, or the need to terminate contracts with the Complex employees. Additionally, closing down the Turów Complex would require prompt securing of the workings. The immediate cessation of mining operations would also cause serious geotechnical and environmental hazards that could lead to an ecological disaster.

The Turów Mine operates under a 6-year concession legally granted by the Minister of Climate on 20 March 2020, in accordance with Polish law. The Mine plans to continue its mining operations until 2044, which will coincide with the closure of the Turów Power Plant.
When the Turów Mine was applying for extension of its mining concession, the proceedings were conducted - in a transparent manner and with full participation of Polish, Czech and German representatives - comprising:

  • environmental impact assessment of the project, including measures to minimise the impact, which resulted in the issuance of a binding environmental decision to continue coal mining by the Turów Mine until 2044,
  • cross-border project impact assessment procedure, which ended with signing, by all the parties, a report agreed on with the German and Czech representatives,
  • strategic environmental assessment for the purposes of adoption of the Local Spatial Development Plan,
  • cross-border strategic environmental assessment procedure for the purposes of the Local Spatial Development Plan.