WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's largest power plant the lignite-fired Belchatow, owned by the country's top utility PGE, on Friday said it will receive an additional 4.8 million tonnes in 2008-2012 free carbon dioxide emission permits.
Poland, which depends on the highly-polluting coal for more than 90 percent of its electricity needs, is one of the largest polluters in the European Union and struggles to align its economy with the 27-nation bloc's climate goals.
Belchatow, which produces some 20 percent of Poland's electricity with installed capacity of 5.3 gigawatts, was seeking an additional 6.6 million tonnes in pollution permits for the current accounting period of the EU's main scheme to fight global warming.
On Friday the EU's carbon allowances traded at 7.80 euros a tonne.
Belchatow needs the additional permits to cover emissions of a new coal-fired 858 megawatt power block. Last week, the Polish utility announced it would seek $134.5 million in penalties from France's Alstom for delays in construction of the facility.
Located in southern Poland, the Belchatow plant is entitled to release some 27 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere every year.
As of 2013, European industry installations will start paying for all their pollution.