Business Opportunity: District heating infrastructure in Poland

Business Opportunity: District heating infrastructure in Poland

Jun 8, 2016
Energy & resource efficiency
Renewables & smart grid

Poland’s district heating sector upgrade offers big opportunities to Finnish companies

The EU is ready to finance major investments as Poland modernises its district heating and cogeneration systems.

Poland is one of the biggest district heating (DH) markets in Europe. DH has about 52% share of the heating market, supplying heat to 20 million people. The total length of Poland’s DH networks is 20,000km – and still growing as the DH companies are actively connecting new users and extending the network.

This vast DH sector is now faced with a major upgrade that will require massive investments to improve energy efficiency, provide a reliable heat supply, and ensure compliance with EU environmental standards. Almost half of Poland’s DH networks need to be modernised, with 20% requiring urgent attention, which means investments worth approximately EUR 4 billion. According to Finpro’s estimates, the investments needed for switching from group substations to Finnish-style individual substations will amount to tens of millions of euros.

Substantial EU funding for DH and CHP projects

The replacement of old generation capacity signals major investments in new combined heat and power plants (CHPs). The EU has earmarked EUR 2.2 billion for DH and CHP development in Poland until 2020, providing financing for hundreds of projects that will bring the country in line with EU policies and requirements. 

As a result, Polish utility companies and municipalities are looking for new cleantech solutions. There are also several ongoing or planned projects for waste incineration or RDF with energy recovery in some cities. At the moment only 10-20% of the DH sector’s 460 companies can access EU funding for their network investments. The rest still need compliance with the definition of an efficient DH system. 

Finnish companies offer high-level expertise

Finland has a strong cluster of DH companies and a good international image thanks to the proven quality of its DH sector. Finnish companies are reputable technology and solutions providers that can meet Poland’s needs for infrastructure maintenance, extension and modernisation, better energy efficiency and lower costs, and new heat sources.

Export opportunities include end-user substations, network valves, CHP technologies, boilers, IT solutions and consulting, among other products and services. Some Finnish companies are already well known and have gained a strong position in the Polish market.

Next steps to success

To access these opportunities Finnish companies need a local presence either through their own sales office or local partner(s) such as a distributor, agent or resellers. Finpro and its local network of evaluated consultants can be of great help in facilitating market entry.

The joint marketing of municipal cleantech solutions from Finland could also present a valuable approach. This allows for the marketing of different Finnish solutions and products at the same time, and creates synergy benefits.

Already 15 Finnish cleantech companies have decided to seize this opportunity by joining in the business delegation visit to Poland on 13-15 June 2016 which will be led by Ms. Lenita Toivakka, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland. Read more about the visit here and Poland and the focus sectors here: Why POLAND.

During the visit Finpro is organising a municipal cleantech seminar on DH & CHP and solid waste management in Kraków & Warsaw, where the invitees include Polish municipal utilities, suppliers and contractors. Networking and matchmaking events will follow the seminars.
Interested in this opportunity? 

More information: 

Kari Vähäkangas
Commercial Councellor, Finpro Poland
M: +48 609 696 666 

Zofia Stelmaszczyk
Senior Advisor, Finpro Poland
M: +48 601 985202

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