Just Transition in Bełchatów region

Key messages

  • At the end of June 2021, the regional authorities of the Łódzkie Voivodeship in partnership with the utility PGE GiEK, announced the decommissioning schedule of the largest Polish and European power plant Bełchatów and accompanying lignite mine complex. According to the draft Territorial Just Transition Plan (TPST), 12 units will be phased out between 2030 and 2036. In turn, by 2038, the end of coal mining in the region is foreseen. 
  • This process will affect a total of 14 thousand jobs: 7 thousand direct ones in the open-cast mine and power plant, as well as 5.5 thousand indirect jobs in the value chain which will be a tremendous challenge for the entire region.
  • The socioeconomic consequences will be severe for indirect workforce, and less intense for those employed directly in the PGE company itself. Nearly ⅓ of those indirectly employed will not acquire pension rights before the end of the Complex’s operations, compared to ¾ of those working for PGE directly.
  • Negative outlook on demographic situation (depopulation) as well as strong industrial and agricultural profile of the Bełchatów region, low level of entrepreneurship and innovation are major challenges that have to be faced by the local authorities and PGE in the transition process.
  • Municipalities and counties from the Bełchatów region will have to deal with the loss in tax revenue resulting from the downturn on the labor market, but also contraction of the mining operations. In 2019, Bełchatów lignite mine contributed more than 156m PLN (ca. 35m EUR) to the local budgets, where municipalities like Kleszczów, Szczerców, Rząśnia and Sulmierzyce receive up to 50% of their total tax revenue from the concession fees.
  • The constantly growing potential of the integrated and efficiently managed logistics sector could become one of the pillars of diversification strategy. The logistics industry is already one of the leading investments in the Łódzkie Special Economic Zone (ŁSEZ). On the map of Polish logistics hubs, Łódź and its surroundings, incl. Piotrków Trybunalski (the so-called golden triangle between Stryków, Piotrków Trybunalski, and Łódź) is indicated as the second, after Gdańsk and Gdynia, a region with the greatest TSL development potential, generating a large number of jobs.

Full publication available in Polish at www.instrat.pl/en/belchatow-2021 

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