#YearOfNewTasks: Prime Minister Beata Szydło on modern Polish mining, investments in construction and railways

In 2018 modern mining will start to develop, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło following the meeting with the Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski and the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction Andrzej Adamczyk. Prime Minister emphasised that the Home+ programmes and the use of EU funds were the priorities of the ministry of infrastructure.

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Photo: P. Tracz/Chancellery of the Prime Minister

2018 - the year of development of modern mining

Mining is to be a strong sector of Polish economy, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Mining is to be based on modern technologies and is to bring jobs and security to Silesia and development of energy sector in Poland. According to the head of the government, the activities undertaken by the Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski so far are bringing good results. It is not a completed process.

We agreed with Minister Tchórzewski that by the end of this year the fundamental reforms should be completed and 2018 would already be the year, when modern Polish mining should already start to develop. We shall be looking for new solutions. We also have ambitious plans related to gasification of coal, said Prime Minister. This issue is currently subject to analysis and research. Cooperation with research and scientific institutes and universities is to give the foundation for implementation of ambitious plans for the development of modern Polish mining since 2018.

The head of the government reminded that Minister Tchórzewski undertook to create the ministry, which had been a part of the election programme of the ruling party. Prime Minister emphasised that the energy sector was of strategic importance. It is also a beginning of investments in the energy sector, declared Prime Minister Szydło.

ME’s plans for 2017

We want to build the first European power plant in the so-called clean coal technology attached to Bogdanka mine, declared Krzysztof Tchórzewski. Minister of Energy announced the launch of a pilot programme, in which Polish scientists would take part, in order to design and play the role of the so-called contract engineer in construction of a power plant in the clean coal technology (coal gasification). Such power plant would be built next to Bogdanka hard coal mine in Lubelskie. I believe this is a programme, which could be successful.

“Home+” and investments in railways

Minister Adamczyk practically has one task: the tasks of persistent and effective spending of EU money and to implement investments. She emphasised that the ministry was doing well so far, as it was implementing projects, which were already advanced.

The head of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction has three primary objectives. First thing, the flagship programme of Law and Justice, “Home+”. It is a task, for which Minister Adamczyk will be definitely held accountable at the end of the year. The pilot programme has already started. Apartments are being built. But this is only a pilot, said Prime Minister. She added that the programme was ambitious, comprehensive and comprised several programmes, targeted at both self-governments and individual investors, as well investors building in a multi-family system. This is the most important priority for Minister Adamczyk, stressed the head of the government.

Railway investments are another priority for Minister Adamczyk, alongside the “Home+” programme. I am satisfied with the volume of contracting of railway projects, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło, but I notice the need for a very strong monitoring and an ongoing supervision over implementation of these projects. The head of the government talked about experience from previous years and governments, where money for Polish investments in railways had not been spent. The cabinet of Beata Szydło makes it its objective to spend the funds allocated to investment in this financial perspective.

In 2017 the procedures and implementation of the National Railway Programme shall be improved, thanks to statutory amendments introduced last year. Launching of tenders is planned for railway investments valued at PLN 12 billion, including the beginning of works on the new railway line Podłęże – Szczyrzyc – Tymbark/Mszana Dolna. Reserve projects are also under preparation.

Development of roads

The third objective is implementation of road investments, both those, which have been started and regional investments, implemented with partners. Prime Minister mentioned two large projects: Via Carpathia and Via Baltica, as well as other projects, which are implemented under the Visegrad Group and in cooperation with neighbours. Implementation of national programmes shall also be important, including the motorway programme and road, which are important for individual regions of our country.

This programme of road investments shall soon be also updated by the government. The government shall approve the relevant act, declared Prime Minister Szydło. Both ministries are involved in long term programmes, including the Responsible Development Plan.

This year, tenders for road investments valued at PLN 22 billion are planned, including tenders for subsequent sections of Via Carpathia and Via Baltica, as well as the tender for the last section of A1. In 2017 393.4 km of national roads shall be commissioned, with the values for their implementation at PLN 14 billion. Contracts shall also be signed for construction of roads with a length of 578.5 km, with a value of PLN 24 billion. The tender for electronic toll collection post-2018 shall also be decided.

Minister Adamczyk pointed pout that completion of motorway A1 - 80 kilometre section Tuszyn-Częstochowa - was one of the priorities. The task shall be implemented with the funds from the National Road Fund. The estimated cost of construction of this section is PLN 3.6 billion. We want to finish the basic transport core network of the country. We have taken the decision on accelerated completion of the last, missing section of A1 motorway, connecting north and south of Poland, said the head of the ministry of infrastructure.

In 2017 we plan to launch construction of subsequent section of international routes Via Carpathia and Via Baltica. This routes shall connect the regions of Eastern Poland, shall connect the north and south of Europe, emphasised Minister Adamczyk. It is one of the priority components of our cooperation with our international partners. Over the past year the number of countries supporting Via Carpathia project has doubled.

The ministry of infrastructure seeks to increase the funds for national roads, for their maintenance and preparation of new investments. We have increased this year’s budget for GDDKiA for preparation of new investments and maintenance of roads. We also plan to increase spending on improvement of road safety, informed Andrzej Adamczyk.

Elimination of the investor’s obstacle course

The plans of the ministry also include implementation of construction and housing tasks. The plans include submission of the draft urban-construction code for government discussions and presentation of the draft Act on the National Housing Fund to the Sejm. In parallel efforts are ongoing on transformation of the right of perpetual usufruct into the ownership right. In the course of the conference Minister Adamczyk stressed that the ministry would continue the pilot of the Home Plus programme, under which contracts had already been signed for construction of ca. 15 thousand apartments.

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