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GDF SUEZ inaugurates one of the world’s biggest biomass units in Poland (205 MW)

June 5, 2013

GDF SUEZ has inaugurated the Green Unit biomass plant at Polaniec in south-east Poland, the world’s biggest power plant entirely fuelled by biomass, made up of treefarming and agricultural by-products. It illustrates the Group’s commitment to developing renewable energy in Poland, and across Europe as a whole.

Green Unit, which has a capacity of 205 MW, is the first of the very large-scale 100% biomass plants to run on a mixture of by-products from treefarming (80%) and agriculture (20%). It has a very high yield due to the use of a state of the art technology for this type of combustion (a circulating fluidized bed boiler, with cutting-edge facilities for combustion gas treatment). The plant provides the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 600,000 households, and avoids 1.2 million tons(1) CO2emissions a year. It is part of the GDF SUEZ Energia Polska thermal plant, which has a total capacity of 1,780 MW.

With Green Unit, GDF SUEZ becomes the leading renewable electricity producer in Poland

Green Unit makes a substantial contribution to Poland’s ambitious energy policy. The country plans to diversify its energy mix and bolster its security of supply. Poland targets 15% installed renewable energy capacity by 2020.

The plant has reinforced the Group’s position in renewable energy in Poland enabling it to become the leader in the sector, with 102 MW of capacity in land-based wind power, 205 MW in biomass and some capacity in biomass in co-combustion with coal.

The Group has major ambitions in Poland. GDF SUEZ, which has operated in the country since 2000 and is the 5th largest energy producer there, is proud to inaugurate the Green Unit today, and to demonstrate its considerable array of renewable energies in both wind power and biomass. Poland, thanks to a dynamic economy and sustained growth in energy demand, is a key and promising market for the Company”, said Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ.

GDF SUEZ, a European leader in renewable energy

Renewable energy is one of the Group’s key strategic development priorities in Europe. With 8.2 GW of installed renewable energy capacity on the continent, GDF SUEZ is now a leading European renewable energy operator. The Company aims to put 2,000 MW of additional renewable energy capacity(2) into service by 2017. The Company is a leading renewable energy producer in Europe, particularly in hydroelectric power (2nd largest operator in France), wind power (number 1 in France and Belgium, number 2 in Portugal), and biomass (the leading producer in Poland), as well as in photovoltaic power and biogas (France and Belgium).

GDF SUEZ has developed unparalleled expertise in renewable electricity production worldwide. The Company operates in all the industry’s technologies, and renewable energy currently accounts for 18% of total Group installed electricity capacity.

(1) Compared to equivalent coal-based production
(2) Vs. 2010

GDF SUEZ has been present in Poland for 11 years and is the 5th biggest energy producer in the country. GDF SUEZ is the sole owner of Połaniec power plant (1,780 MW), where coal is co-combusted with biomass and which produces 5% of the country's energy. It operates wind-farms in Pagow (51 MW), Wartkowo (31 MW) and Jarogniew-Moltowo (20,5 MW). In order to satisfy the needs of the Polish power system, GDF SUEZ provides PSE-Operator with system services and produces heat for local customers. GDF SUEZ is also a supplier of energy services and is involved in waste management through Sita.

GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (electricity, natural gas, services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 219,300 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €97 billion in 2012. The Group is listed on the Paris, Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone, Vigeo World 120, Vigeo Europe 120 and Vigeo France 20.

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