Monday, September 25, 2023

Konin turning to green heating

09.08.2023, 06:38 Update: 22.08.2023, 06:58
Photo: PAP
Photo: PAP

The construction of the geothermal heating plant on Pociejowo island in Konin is coming to an end. Thanks to hot water, extracted from the depth of nearly 3 km, a possibility will be provided to heat a part of the city. The project, which is valued at over PLN 66m, including over PLN 26m from the EU, is expected to be the city's ecological showcase.

Hot springs, with water temperature reaching the level of 97.5 degrees Celsius, which is a record-breaking value at the national scale, were discovered on Pociejowo island, located within the boundaries of Konin. In 2020, the Municipal Heat Energy Enterprise (Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Energetyki Cieplnej - MPEC) in Konin commenced the construction of a heating plant that will use the heat from deep within the ground.

“Geothermal heating plant is to be a green source of heat for Konin residents, of whom around 80 percent use district heating. The project is based on Earth's natural resources, hidden over 2.5 km below the ground. They are renewable and ecological deposits,” stressed Aneta Wanjas, spokesperson for the Konin City Office.

The construction of a system using heat from the underground is so far the largest project of MPEC in Konin. Its cost amounted to over PLN 66.5m, including over PLN 26m of EU funds awarded as part of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, PLN 18m from a loan from domestic resources, PLN 4m from Konin local government authorities, and the remaining sum from MPEC own funds. The construction of the geothermal heating plant in Konin is due to be completed in Q4 this year. The geothermal heat production capacity is expected to reach the level of nearly 160,000 GJ per year.

“For years MPEC Konin provided heating from one source only - Konin power plant. We have been using the second source - the Thermal Waste Treatment Plant - for seven years now. The present project will be the third source. Thanks to this, 10% of the heating we supply via our system to Konin residents will come from the geothermal heating plant,” said Sławomir Lorek, President of MPEC in Konin.

The first well, called “Konin GT1”, reaches the deposits of hot saline water at the depth of 2660 m in the straight line, while the second one, “Konin GT3”, is shaped like “S”, and its bottom is also at the level of 2660 m but it is approx. 3 km long due to its trajectory. Thanks to the two wells, it is possible to apply the geothermal doublet technology.

“The geothermal doublet technology consists in extracting water from one well - Konin GT1 and delivering it to heat exchangers where heat is transferred to the system, after which the water is injected to the Konin GT3 well. Everything on a closed-loop basis – we extract water from the depth of 2660 m and pump it back there, but the bottoms of the two wells are located nearly a kilometre away,” explained Jacek Ruminkiewicz, Head of the Project Department at MPEC Konin.

The Spokesperson of Konin City Office has stressed that the heating plant is one of the elements of Konin Development Strategy for 2020-2030, thanks to which the emissions of greenhouse gases to atmosphere are to be reduced.

“Konin is aspiring to become a green city of energy, focusing on eco-friendly investments and projects related to the protection of, and care for, the natural environment. The project is bound to bring benefits to the environment and perhaps it will mark the beginning of large-scale area development on Pociejowo island. The plans for the place are extensive and include the creation of the city's ecological leisure area with thermal pools, a conference centre, a sports hall and a cultural event hall. The island will also have a graduation-tower park,” Ms Wanjas added.  

Michał Kurzawski, Deputy Director of the Regional Policy Department at the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship Marshals’ Office, notes that projects related to energy transition play a key role in the upcoming EU financial perspective. 

“In the perspective that has been launched, we will place emphasis on energy transition, environmental transformation, and the fulfilment of assumptions set out in the European Green Deal, which also includes the implementation of projects related to heating industry. The funds for such projects have been increased in the current regional programme,” said Mr Kurzawski.

He also noted that the energy transition of the eastern part of the region was a special area of interest to the Voivodeship Government.

“East Greater Poland region is in a sense at the forefront of energy transition when it comes to national and European commitments, so we would like to fulfil the assumptions related to climate neutrality by 2040,” he added.

Konin is another local-government area we visited as part of the “Cohesion Policy in Regions” Project. In a series of video reports on EU funds, we are planning to show twenty places that have been transformed thanks to the Cohesion Policy and co-financing from the European Union.



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