Coal Dust Explosion at Polish Power Plant Injures Four

A coal dust explosion late on Tuesday at Polish utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna’s (PGE’s) 2.1-GW Turow power plant near Bogatynia in the southwestern part of Poland injured four workers and set off a blaze at three of the plant’s eight units. A team of more than 100 firefighters reportedly responded to the emergency at the facility that produces nearly 7% of power consumed in Poland.

The blaze was brought under control by midnight on Wednesday, Polish media reported.

Output from the damaged lignite-fired plant was offset on Wednesday by increased production at other PGE units, the nation’s biggest utility said in a statement.

More than 95% of Poland’s power is produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, mainly coal.

Construction of the Turow plant, which is situated near a border Poland shares with the Czech Republic and Germany, began in 1962 and was completed in 1971. PGE undertook a $1.6 billion modernization of the plant in the early 1990s. In October 2010, the utility shut down Unit 8 (which was modernized the least) and subsequently repowered Units 5 and 6 to co-incinerate forest and agricultural biomass. PGE last October also launched a program that will allow co-firing of biomass in boilers of the plant’s remaining power units, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Sources: POWERnews, Reuters, PGE

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