PGE Bełchatów lignite mine, Poland
Field covered by study visit: fossil fuels extraction
When: 1 st year
Organizing institution: Silesian University of Technology/AGH
The PGE Capital Group is Poland’s largest energy sector company with respect to sales revenues and net profit. Thanks to the combination of its own fuel resources, power generation and distribution networks, PGE guarantees a safe and reliable power supply to over 5 million households, businesses and institutions.
PGE Kopalnia Węgla Brunatnego Bełchatów S.A. is the leader of lignite mining in Poland. It has operated since 1975 and is the largest opencast lignite mine in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. Since 2007 it has belonged to the largest power industry group in Poland – PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. With about 7,000 employees, the Bełchatów Mine is also the biggest employer in the Łódź region.
The Bełchatów Mine is renowned in Poland and Europe for its size, modern approach to mining technology issues and involvement in environmental protection. Lignite from the Bełchatów Mine is the cheapest fuel fired to generate the cheapest electricity in Poland. Today PGE KWB Bełchatów S.A. excavates approximately 33 million tons of lignite a year, which constitutes 50% of the national production of this energy fuel. „Brown gold” from Bełchatów is used to generate about 20% of electricity in Poland..
PGE KWB Bełchatów S.A. is a modern, environment-friendly company which initiates many wide-ranging pro-ecological activities. This can be confirmed by numerous prizes and distinctions awarded to the company, e.g. the titles of the Leader of Polish Ecology or the Environment-Friendly Company.
Visit in Bałchatów lignite mine is a exhilarating experience for students. The scale of the company is impressive. This would lead them to conclusions about the impact on the economy as well as environment of fossil fuels extraction.