Poland’s football team has mountain to climb to reach 2022 World Cup

Can Poland's captain Robert Lewandowski guide Poland to improbable World Cup qualification? Source: FirstSportz
Can Poland's captain Robert Lewandowski guide Poland to improbable World Cup qualification? Source: FirstSportz
On paper – and assuming Poland comes 2nd in its World Cup qualifying group – Poland’s national team will have a 25% chance of reaching the World Cup finals in Qatar, needing to win two games out of two in March. 

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Despite their latest win, the odds for Poland’s football team to reach the 2022 World Cup are against them

With Poland’s hard-fought 1:0 win over Albania in Tirana on 12 October, the Biało-Czerwoni (White & Reds) national football team bolstered their chances of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Fans shouldn’t book their flights to Qatar yet, however. With two matches still remaining, Poland – managed by Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa and led by captain Robert Lewandowski – has 17 points, three behind Group I leaders England on 20 points and two ahead of Albania on 15 points. Hungary is in 4th position with 11 points. 

Poland should win the qualifier against Andorra on 12 November, which would mean that – unless it loses against Hungary on 15 November and Albania wins against both England and Andorra – the team will go through to the play-offs. 

And that’s where it gets tricky. 

In total, 32 teams will play in the World Cup, of which 13 will be from Europe. There are 10 qualifying groups, with the 10 group winners going through automatically. The play-offs will be contested by the ten group runners-up and the best two Nations League group winners (based on the Nations League overall ranking) who finished outside the top two of their qualifying group, making 12 teams in total. They will be separated into three play-off paths of four teams each, with each path featuring two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The semi-finals will be played on 24–25 March, and the finals on 28–29 March 2022. The winners of each path will qualify for the World Cup. Other than the hosts, so far only Germany & Denmark have qualified from Europe or anywhere else. 

Poland has reached the World Cup on eight occasions, the first being in 1938, and have come third twice, in 1974 and 1982 – the country’s best positions to date. Could the current Lewandowski-reliant team beat that? First they have a mountain to climb just to qualify. 


Ørsted and ZE PAK join forces to participate in upcoming auction for seabed leases   

ZE PAK, Poland’s largest privately-owned energy producer, and Ørsted, Denmark’s largest energy company, have signed a letter of intent to participate in the upcoming auction for seabed leases in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, according to a press release by Ørsted. The next step is to create a 50/50 joint venture which will be subject to merger clearance. If successful in the lease auction, the partners intend to jointly bid into Poland’s future offshore wind CfD auctions (‘CFD’ stands for ‘Contracts for Difference’, the government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation) planned for 2025 and 2027 to further expand their footprint and investments.

Zygmunt Solorz, the main shareholder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ZE PAK, said: “Wind energy is one of the pillars of ZE PAK’s strategy to switch to zero-emission energy production. The potential, achievements and experience of Ørsted in the production of clean energy are impressive and can undoubtedly support the energy transformation of both ZE PAK and the entire Polish energy sector.”

Poland has announced its ambition to diversify the country’s energy mix through a large-scale development of renewables, aiming to reduce the share of coal in the power generation from approximately 70% today to 11-28 % by 2040. There are currently no offshore wind farms in Polish waters, but as part of its transition to a low-emission energy system, the country aims to install 5.9 GW offshore wind by 2030 and 11 GW by 2040.

ZE PAK is Poland’s fifth-largest power producer. Listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the company has started its transition from fossil-based to renewable energy generation and has pledged to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030.

Rasmus Errboe, Head of Region Continental Europe at Ørsted, says: “Poland is a strategically important market for Ørsted and we hope to further expand our presence and investments to help Poland harvest the clean energy resources that are abundantly available in the Baltic Sea. We are happy to team up with ZE PAK who has launched an ambitious green transformation, and whose shift from fossil to renewable energy will help Poland reach its carbon emission reduction targets.”

Ørsted, the largest offshore wind energy operator in the world (until 2017 known as DONG – Danish Oil & Natural Gas), is listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock exchange. The Danish Government holds the majority of Ørsted shares (50.1%). US financial services giant Capital Group Companies, US fund EuroPacific Growth Fund and Denmark’s Andel energy company (until 2020 known as SEAS-NVE) hold over 5% of shares. According to a political agreement, the Danish Government must maintain a majority in the company until 2025. Reduction of the ownership below 50% requires political agreement of Danish political parties.


EDF files preliminary offer to build nuclear reactors in Poland

French electric utility company EDF has submitted a non-binding preliminary offer to the Polish government to build four to six European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear reactors in Poland, according to Power Technology, a global energy sector media title. The reactors will be built at two or three sites and have a total installed power generating capacity of between 6.6GWe and 9.9GWe. EDF’s offer covers engineering, procurement and construction services for the reactors.

It also includes other important aspects such as plant configuration, the industrial scheme, plans for the development of the local supply chain, and the estimated cost and schedule.

In a statement, EDF said: “This EPR-based nuclear programme would bring numerous benefits to the Polish economy, contributing to the country’s energy independence, providing electricity for at least 60 years and satisfying up to 40% of the Polish current electricity demand. It would significantly contribute to the path towards net-zero by avoiding up to 55 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions a year, thanks to a safe, reliable, dispatchable and CO₂-free energy source.”

It is estimated that almost 25,000 local jobs for every two EPRs will be created during the project’s construction phase, as well as several thousand indirect jobs. EDF said that its preliminary offer aims to meet all the objectives included in the Polish Nuclear Power Programme (PPEJ), which the Polish government adopted last October.

Poland currently generates most of its power from coal-fired plants and was the only European Union (EU) member state not to have committed to climate neutrality by 2050 when the target was set by the EU in 2019, says Power Technology. Facing pressure from the EU and with costs of carbon emissions increasing, the country is looking at investing in low-emission power sources. It expects to have its first large nuclear reactor operational by 2033. 


CEE businesses need to do more for sustainability, reveals Bayer survey

Only 59% of companies in Poland, Czechia and Hungary carry out waste segregation, according to The Bayer Barometer, a survey of the three countries by research institute Kantar on behalf of Bayer, the German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company. Other environmental measures – such as introducing ecological hygiene products, reducing water and electricity consumption, and removing disposable tableware – are carried out by fewer companies, leaving huge space for improvement in this field. In Poland, the vast majority of people (83%) have heard of the term ‘sustainable development’, and 70% are interested in the issue. The main motivations for people to get involved are: taking care of the environment (54%), personal views (41%) and the future of children (37%). 

“The results of the Bayer Barometer show that while people know they need to act, you still need motivation to actually change your behaviour. Meanwhile, the latest climate reports show that there is no more time, the change must take place now,” says Kamil Wyszkowski, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Poland, under whose patronage the survey was carried out. 


LPP leases 64,000 sqm at Panattoni Park Tricity South II for e-commerce operations

Gdańsk-based LPP group – the largest clothing manufacturer in Central and Eastern Europe which owns the Sinsay, Cropp, Reserved, House and Mohito brands, is to occupy approx. 64,000 sqm in two Panattoni Park Tricity South II buildings, where it will commence operations as early as April 2022. The investment will be designed for online orders as well as service returns. Its location close to ports and key road junctions will enable several European markets to be reached, says a press release by Panattoni. Prior to this, in 2018, LPP leased 30,000 sqm at Panattoni Park Gdańsk III.

LPP’s internet sales increased by almost 30% y-y in 2Q 2021 and now account for 22% of the group’s revenues. “The growing interest of our clients in e-commerce purchases and the continuing digitisation of trade has led LPP to focus strongly on the development of warehouse space designed for online sales. This is our largest leasing contract for warehouse space designed for e-commerce services. It will increase our current fulfilment centre warehouse potential by more than 30%,” said Sebastian Sołtys, the Logistics Director of LPP.

June 25, 2018
Warsaw Head draws new spotlight to rowing in Poland
Warsaw Head 2018. Photo: Tomasz Stankiewicz TWDW (Towarzystwo Wisła Dla Wioślarzy) Rowing Club organised Warsaw Head’s debut with help from co-organizers, Warsaw Rowing Club and the Pro Bono Foundation. On 16 June 2018, 30 rowing crews from Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Great Britain converged at Saska Kȩpa Beach for the first Warsaw Head International [...]
Written by: Richard Stephens