French utility GDF Suez has announced a plan to build the world’s largest biomass-fired power station in Poland and at the same time strengthen its position in the European biomass market.

The company has signed a contract with Foster Wheeler to build the ‘Green Unit’, which will be located in Polaniec, southeast Poland, at the site of GDF Suez’s existing 1800 MW coal and biomass-fired power plant. With a capacity of 190 MW, it will burn wood and agri-fuels and is due to start operations at the end of 2012.

Foster Wheeler says that it has received notice to proceed with its contract to design, supply and erect the plant’s boiler island. It will supply a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler and auxiliary equipment.

According to GDF Suez, the Green Unit will boost the company’s portfolio of renewable energy, which currently accounts for 20 per cent of its world wide power capacity. It will also strengthen Poland’s commitment to produce more than 15 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

GDF Suez says that it is aiming to become the largest producer of renewable energy in Poland, where it is also developing a number of wind farms.

GDF Suez is currently the third largest renewable energy producer in Poland.