The message has been heard – and the Polish government has announced that it will reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020. It is therefore promoting efficient combined heat and power generation (CHP) and the use of renewable energy sources. Practical implementation is largely the responsibility of the municipalities, they are the owners of the power generation plants and distribution networks – and that is where SFW Energia comes in. “We approach the local authorities and ask them very precisely how they envisage a solution to their problem on the ground,” explains Antoni Slomiany, Chairman of the SFW Management Board. “And then, together, we work out a solution that exactly meets the relevant needs. For some of them, the focus is on the renewal of district heating pipelines, while for others a completely customized generation concept has to be developed.”
Cooperation as a competitive advantage
As in Piekary Slaskie, for example: In 2003, SFW Energia acquired over 97 percent of Miejskie Przedsiebiorstwo Energetyki Cieplnej Piekary Slaskie (MPEC). The municipal district heating company in the Silesian city with a population of 60,000 had a market share of around 30 percent. “Then we set to work together with the city authorities,” recalls Antoni Slomiany. “What needs to be modernized and what financial resources do we need? Where does the network need to be expanded?” The measures developed together with the city council have led 14 years later to lower emissions, greater convenience for customers and ultimately to an improvement in the quality of life. Today, MPEC has a 100 percent market share in Piekary Slaskie. The SFB affiliate now supplies housing estates, schools, hospitals, and also public buildings in the city. This development can also be seen directly in the key financial figures: Since the start of the cooperation between SFW and the city administration, annual sales have increased fivefold. “The development of MPEC is a prime example of fruitful and successful cooperation,” says the Chairman of the SFB Management Board. And there is more: SFW and the city council are currently planning to connect a housing estate with apartment buildings in the northern part of the city to the MPEC district heating network. This positive trend also applies to the company as a whole: SFW Energia has grown continuously since its foundation in 1997. This was also not insignificantly due to supplies to industrial enterprises. The largest customer in this segment is the car manufacturer General Motors, which manufactures the mid-range Opel Astra in Gliwice. There, the STEAG Group company supplies thermal energy for heating in the production shops and process heat for the paint shop. Bernard Barteczko, a member of the SFB management team since the company was founded, explains: “We have built up a wealth of expertise in this area over the years, which is in great demand.” Other industrial customers in the Upper Silesian city are the IZO-ERG chemical plants, which are continuously supplied with steam, the nationally prestigious specialist clinic for oncology and the British supermarket chain Tesco, which is also based there.