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Connection of Siekierki CHP plant with high-voltage power line


On June 15, 2022, PGNiG Termika S.A. and ILF Consulting Engineers Polska Sp. z o.o. signed a contract for the preparation of a feasibility study for the construction of a high-voltage power transmission line connection between the new Siekierki CHP plant and the Piaseczno-Mory line. ILF Poland will prepare several variants of this investment and recommend the optimal solution in terms of planning, technological, social and environmental aspects.

The feasibility study will include the construction of a new 220 kV double circuit power transmission line from a new 220 kV switchyard to a cut in the 220 kV Piaseczno-Mory line in the Sokolow area near Janki, as well as the construction of a line to connect a new gas/steam unit to this switchyard. Three options for its location will be considered.

For each variant ILF Poland will elaborate the basic parameters of the line, present technical solutions, technologies for their construction (cable lines, overhead lines or mixed solutions) and proposed route variants:

– the variant using infrastructure corridors of other line facilities,

– the variant with the least interference with housing development,

– the variant with the least interference with natural areas.

ILF Poland will also indicate the optimal scenario – the recommended and compromise variant, taking into account (as much as possible) all investment aspects: technological, cost, social and environmental.

We always consider the impact on residents and environment in our work. This is obvious. We are focused on minimizing interference with housing developments and valuable natural areas. In terms of the cost and schedule of the investment, we will pay attention to the use of already existing infrastructure corridors of other line facilities, and we will consider different technological options: overhead lines, cable lines, and an option combining these two technologies into one” says Rafal Blankiewicz, Managing Director of ILF Poland.

In recent years there is increasing aversion directed against the construction of new high-voltage overhead lines. Public expectations that the power grid should be extended as a cable network are growing. This is a more expensive solution, but socially and environmentally favorable.

The study will provide a comparative assessment of all options with their detailed SWOT analysis, including a comparison of costs and conditions for execution. The recommended option will balance the issues of technical solutions, execution time, work estimates and capital outlays, social, planning and environmental factors. In addition, the study will include an analysis of electromagnetic field distribution and noise in the line’s surroundings.

PGNiG Termika’s investment, for which ILF Poland will carry out the feasibility study, is a response to the energy demand of the Warsaw agglomeration and central Poland, which is growing every year. The expansion is key to maintaining an efficient power supply system and raising the level of energy security, especially in emergency conditions. International requirements and the adaptation of existing and planned lines to EU standards are also important, as they are a component of the European transmission infrastructure.

PGNiG Termika S.A. is a leading provider of heat and electricity from high-efficiency cogeneration in Poland, and the Siekierki CHP plant included in the investment is the largest plant of its kind in the European Union. The new double circuit high-voltage power transmission line will eventually be owned by PSE S.A.

Completion of all works is planned by ILF Poland for December 2023.



Wind energy – a guarantee of Poland’s independence?


The wind power market is on the rise. This is a good opportunity to consider this source not only in terms of viability, but also more broadly – its impact on issues of independence from energy imports. How is the market growing today and what are its perspectives and challenges?

As indicated in the report “Wind energy in Europe: 2021 statistics and forecasts for 2022-2026,” developed by the European association WindEurope, a total of 660 MW of onshore wind farms were installed in Poland in 2021 alone. Onshore thus met 9% of the country’s electricity demand. However, interest in renewable energy sources is high not only because of the climate targets set by the European Commission, but also – and perhaps especially – because of the need for at least partial energy independence for our country. This need has been dramatically highlighted by the war in Ukraine and the European sanctions imposed on the Russian aggressor.

Increasing demand

Consulting and engineering companies are noticing a growing interest in wind installation preparation services. A representative of ILF Consulting Engineers Polska, a company that has obtained offshore wind power contracts worth more than 20 million PLN, talks about what they are currently looking for.

Investors submit various inquiries to us: for technical, formal, legal, environmental consulting, determination of technical parameters, preparation of input for applications for permits to erect or exploit artificial islands, installations and equipment in Polish maritime areas, permits to lay and maintain cables or pipelines in areas of internal sea waters and territorial sea, obtaining permits and decisions at the stage of geological surveys, preparation of a counter-application for a location permit or elaboration of a conceptual design,” says Beata Nepelska-Kula, Managing Director of ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. – We witness an incerase in inquiries – in 2021 we received 6 times more inquiries for offshore wind energy services than just 3 years earlier. This shows that the country’s energy transition is gaining momentum.

No wind power without storage systems

Holistic way of thinking about the management system of this important energy resource for Poland is the key to achieving the goals set in PEP 2040.

Wind energy is developing rapidly, but this must go hand in hand with the expansion of the energy distribution and storage system. We have participated and are currently participating in most of the offshore wind power projects carried out in Poland, and we see that there is a growing awareness of the role of RES in the pursuit of greater energy independence for the country,” says Beata Nepelska-Kula, Managing Director of ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. As she adds: wind energy is, of course, dependent on weather conditions. The irregularity of renewable energy production is one of the biggest contemporary challenges facing our industry. Windmills alone are not enough: in parallel, we need to develop infrastructure that enables energy distribution and storage, as well as solutions that allow the integration of more sources into the power grid.

This is well illustrated by the example of photovoltaics. Interest in photovoltaic installations is high, but a well-known problem is the issue of connecting a large-scale source to the grid. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to adapt the entire infrastructure to the actual needs of new installations.

Need for specialists

The wind power market is set to grow. As indicated by the Report of the Polish Wind Energy Association and the Jagiellonian Institute (February 2022), onshore is expected to provide up to 51-97,000 new jobs by 2030. On the other hand, the publication “Energy (re)new,” prepared by ILF Consulting Engineers Polska, draws attention to the demand for workers in the offshore field. Here 77,000 new jobs are expected to be created by 2030.

Universities and colleges are also seeing this, offering many new, future-oriented courses. This is very important, because staff shortages can be a serious challenge for the renewable energy market. Thus, there is a need for qualified specialists, funds for infrastructure development, a holistic view of the system, but also the creation of an appropriate energy mix.


The largest transit and retention collector in Warsaw


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska (ILF Poland) is elaborating comprehensive design documentation for the final stage of construction of the Vistula collector – from the connection chamber with the Bielański collector to the “Farysa” facility, together with a pumping station and the necessary̨ accompanying infrastructure (stage III). This will be the largest transit and retention collector in Poland’s capital, which in addition is expected to prevent the negative effects of climate change. Budimex S.A. is the general contractor for the investment of the Municipal Water and Sewerage Company of the capital city of Warsaw. 

Besides transporting wastewater, the new infrastructure will also temporarily store the rainwater excess, decreasing the risk of flooding and reducing the launch of so-called storm overflows into the Vistula river. The investment has received approvals from the Documentation Coordination Group.

The existing storm sewers: Mostowa, Koscielna, Wenedów, Krasińskiego, Bielański, as well as the delivery sewer collectors to the “Farysa” facility and the pressure pipe from the “Powiśle” pumping station will be connected to the new collector.

The retention volume of the collector will be about 50,000 m3 with base diameters – for the entire stage – from 1.2 to 3.2 m. The entire collector will be almost 9.5 km long and will be founded at a depth of 6 to 15 m, along Wybrzeże Kosciuszkowskie, Wybrzeże Gdanskie and Wybrzeże Gdyńskie streets. The collector will be constructed using trenchless microtunneling technology.

ILF Poland’s task for this investment is to prepare comprehensive design documentation for the III stage of construction of the Vistula collector – specifically, from the connection chamber with the Bielański collector to the “Farysa” facility, along with the pumping station and the necessary̨ accompanying infrastructure,” explains Marcin Przepiórka, Managing Director from ILF Poland. 

The construction of collectors of this size will help reduce the risk of overflows and flooding, as well as the launch of so-called storm overflows during heavy rains, adds Marek Smółka, a Warsaw Municipal Water and Sewerage Company spokesman.

The investment is part of a broader project co-financed by EU funds and implemented by Municipal Water and Sewerage Company in Warsaw, which aims to prevent the negative effects of climate change by increasing retention in the sewage system.

ILF Poland began work in January 2022. Completion of the project documentation (construction design and detailed designs) is planned by the end of 2022.


EPCM for the II production line of InVento grey polystyrene


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska (ILF Poland) is providing EPCM services for the construction of the II production line of InVento grey polystyrene intended for expansion by Synthos. InVento is an ecological product used in thermal insulation, created with the natural environment in mind. The investment has obtained a building permit.


Expansion under EPCM formula

ILF Poland is responsible for providing EPCM services for Synthos’ investment to expand production capacity for InVento products. This includes design, bidding and procurement processes and construction management for the investment. The company’s responsibilities also include the creation of a 3D model of the investment in all phases of documentation preparation and in all disciplines.

EPCM formula is gaining popularity among investors – it is a competitive model of investment implementation that optimizes costs. In this approach there is no general contractor, the investment is divided into a dozen or so packages. A different contractor or vendor is chosen for each of them – explains Rafał Blankiewicz, Managing Director, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. Our company has experience in managing investments in the EPCM model. We successfully completed our first project using this formula in Poland in 2007-2010, when it was still quite unknown at the time,” he adds.

ILF Poland has completed the stage of preparing of the building permit design for the construction of the II XEPS production line and has obtained the building permit. In the near future, ILF Poland will be contracting the contractors for the individual purchase packages and will begin the process of taking over the construction site.

For the environment

The effect of the investment will be increased production capacity for InVento. These products are an ecological thermal insulation for buildings, created with the natural environment in mind. These are grey polystyrenes intended for expansion produced in the extrusion process (XEPS). They are manufactured using an ecological geopolymer additive which acts as a factor reducing heat transfer coefficient and thus improving the thermal insulation properties of the final building products (grey polystyrene boards). What is important, innovative InVento products are fully compliant with the idea of Circular Economy, i.e. they are characterised by full recycling capability and contain in their formula 30% recycling batch coming from post-consumer waste.

The contract for providing services for the investment was signed in August 2021. The new production line is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2023.



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MoU for a civil nuclear project


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska, one of the leading engineering and consulting companies in Poland, has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the American company Bechtel for the potential development of two new civil nuclear power plants in Poland. The MOUs were signed on the 25th of April during ceremony at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Warsaw.

Bechtel and Westinghouse Electric Company are jointly preparing a front-end engineering design for the government’s consideration for a three-reactor plant on the Baltic Sea coast. The plant, using Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, would be Poland’s first civil nuclear power plant.

Our firm specializing in engineering consultancy and having a multidisciplinary team, will provide solid support in preparatory woks for the investment – said Rafał Blankiewicz, Managing Director of ILF Consulting Engineers Polska.

The event was attended by representatives from 12 companies – one of the largest and leading in Poland in the field of heavy construction and engineering – with whom Bechtel intends to cooperate in the development of the nuclear energy sector in Poland.

This signals another important step forward in a project that will bring our countries even closer together over a 100-year partnership. The U.S. Embassy in Poland is pleased to support Bechtel and Westinghouse as they select local Polish suppliers for this strategic project – said Mark Brzezinski, U.S. Ambassador to Poland.

Bechtel and Westinghouse bring hands-on expertise to nuclear construction. Bechtel has built or serviced more than 80 reactors in the U.S. and 150 worldwide in all major designs. Bechtel is currently completing construction of the only nuclear power plant expansion underway in the United States, at Plant Vogtle in the state of Georgia. That two-unit expansion also employs Westinghouse AP1000 reactors.




ILF Poland team in Ukraine


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska has two representative offices in Ukraine located in Dnipro and Kiev. Both of these locations are affected by the war.

Most of our staff working in these offices have left Ukraine and are staying in Poland.

We have been in constant contact with our employees, subcontractors and customers affected by the war since the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and have been responding to their needs on an ongoing basis. We stand united with all citizens of Ukraine, as well as those of you who have loved ones and friends in Ukraine.

We will make every effort to protect the needs of our Ukrainian employees and their families during this difficult time.

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III metro line in Warsaw


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska, a company involved in the construction of Warsaw Metro for nearly 15 years, has signed a contract for the pre-design works for 1st stage – Praga – for the construction of Warsaw III metro line, including the Kozia Górka maintenance depot station.

ILF Polska will provide pre-design works for the 1st stage of construction of the III metro line which will connect Praga Południe district with the Warsaw city centre, and ultimately with Ochota and Mokotów districts. It will consist of an approx. 8 km route with 6 stations (Dworzec Wschodni, Mińska, Rondo Wiatraczna, Ostrobramska, Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego, Gocław). The scope of works also covers the Kozia Górka maintenance and depot station along with its access road.

The company’s tasks include elaboration of a conceptual design, determination of the influence zones of the metro facilities construction on the neighbouring buildings, providing the technical condition assessment of the buildings in these zones and preparing the analysis of the vibration influence of the future metro trains traffic on these buildings.

ILF Polska will also prepare the hydrogeological and geological-engineering documentation and prepare the functional-utility program, together with the technical specification for the execution and acceptance of construction works.

The documentation prepared by ILF Polska will be used to announce a tender for the construction of the III metro line in the “Design and Build” formula.

While designing the III metro line stations, the company strived to continue the character of the II metro line. The stations will be energy-efficient and, as far as possible for large underground facilities, environmentally friendly. In the design process, ILF Polska has tried to minimize the impact of construction on the comfort of the residents by using the ceiling method – which has already become a company signature. This makes it possible to quickly rebuild numerous gas, heating, sewage, electrical and telecommunications networks, so as not to cause unnecessary interruptions in the supply of utilities to residents in the vicinity of future stations.

Over the last decade we have become the most experienced company in Poland in the field of metro design. We have been involved in the works of 18 out of 21 stations of the II metro line in Warsaw, providing comprehensive design services for most of them. Basing on our experience and solid know-how we will definitely bring many attractive ideas and propose optimal design solutions also for the III line. Preparing tender materials for the future contractor in the “Design and Build” system will not be new for us either – we have created them in this formula many times – comments Rafał Blankiewicz, Business Development Department Director, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. The planned investment brings a lot of interest. In particular, it is awaited by residents of those places where the 3rd line is to run and where it will improve communication – he adds.


Sectoral agreement for the development of a hydrogen economy


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska has joined the group of signatories of the “Sectoral Agreement for the Development of the Hydrogen Economy”. Its most important goal is to utilize the national potential and maximize the participation of Polish entities in the creation of hydrogen economy in Europe and worldwide.

In recent years, hydrogen has been strongly gaining popularity as an energy carrier for both the transportation and energy sectors. With the right determination, hydrogen can become a major competitive and technological advantage for Europe.

The challenge now is the infrastructure to transmit and distribute hydrogen and to produce so-called green hydrogen (which does not use fossil fuels for its production).

We have already provided services for an investment aimed at launching green hydrogen production. More on this subject can be read HERE.




Hydrogen and renewables – an unexpected cooperation


Will hydrogen be the main source of electricity of tomorrow or will wind farms and photovoltaic panels dominate the future? These sources are often treated separately today. However, these two currently developing areas – RES and hydrogen technologies – are striving for a unobvious cooperation. Green hydrogen can become necessary for stabilizing the power grid, which is not guaranteed by wind farms or photovoltaics. ILF Consulting Engineers Polska has prepared a technical feasibility study for a project that uses this non-obvious cooperation.

Complementary goods

The renewable energy sources produced 17.7% of all electricity in Poland in 2020, according to the ENERGIA [OD]NOWA report by ILF Polska. What is more, RES will also have an increasing share in Poland’s energy transformation – already in 2030 their contribution to the gross final energy consumption is to be no less than 32% in the power transmission & distribution sector – say data included in PEP2040. Green hydrogen, obtained in the process of electrolysis, may turn out to be necessary for proper functioning of power grids, when the economy will produce more and more electricity from RES, which it will not be able to store. Hydrogen will then act as a storage for energy that is returned to the system (e.g. as a fuel for transportation). The use of green hydrogen will correct the disadvantages of RES.

A disadvantage that reduces the possibility of a faster introduction of renewable energy sources into the energy mix of countries is, among others, their instability. The amount of energy produced by wind farms or photovoltaic panels depends on weather conditions on a given day. Unfortunately, we still do not have a technology that can effectively store the generated surplus – says Beata Nepelska-Kula, Projects Department Director, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. One of the solutions is to “convert” the currently produced surplus of RES into stored energy in the form of hydrogen. ILF Polska has already worked on such a project, and has prepared a technical feasibility study for an electrolysis installation – she adds.

The electrolysis process, carried out using renewable energy, makes hydrogen production emission-free and climate-neutral. For this reason, such investments are also implemented in refineries, which, by using green hydrogen for refinery processes, makes traditional fuels made from crude oil more eco-friendly.

Electrolysis installation with the participation of ILF Poland

ILF Polska provided services for an investment aimed at launching the production of green hydrogen. It is to be the first such large electrolysis installation partially powered by its own renewable energy source. The produced hydrogen will be used primarily in the refining process and will replace the currently used hydrogen produced in the steam reforming process, which will significantly reduce CO2 emissions and will become a zero-emission fuel in the near future.

Green hydrogen, i.e. produced with the use of renewable energy sources, is a desirable fuel due to its emission-free character. We are glad that we had the opportunity to co-create the project which combines RES with production and storage of this fuel. For this investment we have prepared a feasibility study of an installation for the production, storage and use of green hydrogen at the refinery – explains Beata Nepelska-Kula, Projects Department Director, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. Storage of energy from renewable sources in the form of hydrogen guarantees greater grid stability and may turn out to be crucial for further energy transformation of many economies in the world – she adds.

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Milestone on Harmony Link investment


The Baltic Sea seabed surveys along the entire length of Harmony Link (approx. 300 km), which began in February 2021, has been completed. This is a milestone on the new interconnector between Poland and Lithuania – one of the largest investments in transmission infrastructure in this part of Europe. Due to possible unforeseen difficulties (e.g. storms) during carrying out the surveys, this was a crucial part of the project schedule. What does the completion of this part mean for the whole investment? ILF Consulting Engineers Polska (ILF Poland) was the company responsible for supervising the surveys.

The seabed surveys allowed, among others, to determine the locations of wrecks or post-war remnants of conventional and chemical weapons lying on the seabed. The location of obstacles has been included on prepared maps, which will help to avoid dangerous objects at the design phase. A route of about 300 km was surveyed. Side scan sonar and magnetometers were used for the task and bottom samples were taken. Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) took part in the works. The project is realized by PSE and Litgrid, transmission system operators in Poland and Lithuania. ILF Consulting Engineers Polska was responsible for supervising the surveys.

Seabed surveys are a key step in the investment process, highly dependent on weather conditions, which cannot be fully predicted. Therefore, they are an important element of the work schedule.

The survey report will be used to design and determine the final route of the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) offshore cable line between Poland and Lithuania, as well as to elaborate its laying and its protection strategy, including the determination of the burial depth of the cable system taking into account seabed conditions. It is ILF Poland that will analyse the possible risks of cable burial (Cable Burial Risk Assessment) on the basis of seabed surveys conducted.

Previously, ILF Poland was responsible for the Baltic Sea seabed routing as well as supporting PSE and Litgrid during the tender procedure for the contractor of the marine survey analysis.

The offshore cable will improve energy security of the region by opening the way to synchronization of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian power systems with the continental European system. Harmony Link is the second interconnection between the Polish and Lithuanian power systems – the first LitPol Link line connects Ełk substation in Poland and Alytus substation in Lithuania.

The completed study is a milestone on the Harmony Link project. Works began in February and were completed in August 2021.



Public transport – a cure for everything?


The upcoming end of summer holidays will reopen discussions about the transport possibilities in Polish cities. Many of them – despite the pandemic – have been struggling with heavy traffic congestions. The increase will also affect passenger traffic in public transport. In Warsaw, the estimated number of passengers during the holidays decreases by about 20-30%, according to data from the Public Transport Authority, after which they return to regular travel. That is why, depending on the city and its characteristics, many factors are taken into account when building and planning new investments in public transport. The number of passengers, the conditions of the area, congestion in the city center – these are the most common. But what influences the decision of authorities to build a new means of public transport most?


Post-holiday rush

The dynamic growth of individual transport in Poland has been observed since the 90s of the last century. At that time, a large number of people shifted to driving their own cars. This resulted in increased congestion on the roads. This problem is particularly visible after the holidays – even despite the pandemic, which significantly reduced traffic in cities by the possibility of remote working in many industries.

According to the latest Tom Traffic Index, the leader of the national list of the most congested cities in Poland was Łódź. Drivers in this city could expect an average increase in travel time of 42 percent. After Łódź were ranked, in turn: Cracow (36 percent), Wrocław (35 percent), Poznań (31 percent), and Warsaw (31 percent).

It is worth knowing that in 2020, all Polish cities included in the report recorded drops in congestion levels. Despite this fact, the authorities should still strive to reduce the share of individual transport in favour of public transport. So how to choose the right investments to meet the needs of the city?


Development of urban transport

The choice of investment depends on several factors. These include the city area, number of inhabitants, number of passengers using its services, or land conditions. The financial capabilities of the city budget are also important.

For example, public transport in the Warsaw agglomeration includes bus transport and rail transport such as metro, trams and railroads. The Rapid Urban Railway (SKM) also plays important role. Warsaw Public Transport ended 2020 with 726,242,018 passengers. It is worth knowing that this was the first decrease in the number of people using public transport in many years – the reason was the coronavirus epidemic. In 2019, more than 1.2 billion people traveled on the capital’s buses, trams and trains.

In comparison, 416 million passengers were transported by public transport in Krakow in 2019, according to the 2019 City State Report. The discussion about the construction of metro was also present in this city. The question was whether the investment in underground transport is feasible and sensible from the economic and reasonable point of view. It is worth knowing that Krakow’s public transport is facing many challenges such as problems with the tram passing in the city centre and the decreasing average speed of the travelling tram.

In the „Feasibility study for the construction of fast, collision-free rail transport in Kraków” prepared by ILF Consulting Engineers Polska, more than 30 route variants and 21 investment variants of metro and fast tram possibilities were thoroughly analyzed. After a detailed analysis, the pre-metro fast tram option was selected.

At the end of the work – in the second quarter of 2021 – we recommended the best solution in terms of efficiency, financial profitability, safety, risk, social and environmental factors – explains Michał Bogucki, Project Manager, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. The indicated variant fulfilled all the most important assumptions (e.g. faster and collision-free crossing of the critical sections), and at the same time it is more cost-effective and possible to finance within the assumptions of the city’s financial plan – he adds.

 What is interesting, in case of investments in surface transport, there is a possibility to use innovative solutions for means of transport. Solutions limiting energy consumption in vehicles could be, among others, photovoltaic cells mounted on walls and, if possible, also on roof apparatus housings. Moreover, a solution could also be side windows with built-in photovoltaic cells, which at the same time would not limit transparency (a solution applied e.g. in bus shelters to power e.g. bus stop lights) or a modern vehicle control system ensuring optimum energy consumption.


Crowded people in the mass public transportation

Premetro in Kraków – the genesis of the concept


Kraków’s public transportation

Kraków holds the position of a regional leader in modern business services, which is connected with many investments that change the urban infrastructure. Kraków’s transportation needs will grow steadily over the years due to population migrations and further population growth. These factors speak in favor of creating a modern and efficient transportation system.

Currently, public transportation in Kraków consists of a bus and tram network, additionally supported by railroad and private carriers. The tram network faces several significant problems. Challenges include insufficient density in the north of the city, the limited capacity of the 1st ring road, or the increasing number of derailed vehicles,” points out Michał Bogucki, Project Manager, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska.

The problem of rail transportation in Kraków is also the average operating speed of Kraków’s trams. In 2017, it was 14.2 km/h, while in 2003 it was 15 km/h. This applies not only to these vehicles – the average operating speed of buses was still noticeably higher in 2006 (18 km/h), while in 2017 it almost equaled the average speed of trams (15.2 km/h). The highest averages are obtained by the Kraków Fast Tram – about 20.5 km/h (the value should be above 24 km/h) – according to data given in “Scientific works of the Warsaw University of Technology. Transportation”.

Sections of the route in the downtown area are an important obstacle to the increase in average tram operating speeds. On streets where the tracks are not separated from the roadway, travel time increases and delays occur. The main reason for this is the fact that the tracks are blocked by cars which are parked illegally,” points out Michał Bogucki, Project Manager at ILF Consulting Engineers Polska.

Collision-free transit on the central section can bring significant improvements in travel times for trams. Our work on the “Feasibility study for the construction of fast, collision-free rail transport in Kraków” started already in 2018 – he adds.

Why a premetro

Seven routes were elaborated as part of the “Feasibility study on the construction of fast and collision-free rail transport in Kraków”. Each of the variants was analyzed in terms of 6-7 options of implementation. Numerous simulations and analyses of the proposed options were made in terms of society, demographics, and planned investments. The seven best route alternatives were analyzed in detail in terms of the three possible modes of transport, which means that 21 investment alternatives were studied. Each of them was verified in terms of a number of criteria including the anticipated number of passengers, average travel time, preservation conditions, transfer hubs, city-forming potential or approximate cost of transporting one passenger. On this basis, the three most convenient solutions were selected. In total over 300 km of possible alternatives were verified.

In the next step, a detailed concept of 3 variants was developed – technical solutions were specified, including the location of stops, stations and the route of the line. The method of power supply for each of the variants was also analysed, as well as the implementation technology and the selection of rolling stock appropriate for the anticipated passenger flows. The works were carried out in close cooperation with specialists in monument protection, experts from the Kraków University of Technology and AGH University of Science and Technology, as well as the City Hall. This was the most difficult stage due to the concern for the centuries-old tradition and historical heritage of the City of Kraków, which required numerous consultations and arrangements. As many as 8 revisions of the entire project documentation were prepared as part of this phase only. The first releases took place later in 2019.

More than 1,100 pages of technical analysis and more than 280 design drawings for the land use (i.e., exits, underground corridors, and stations) and 3D models were produced.

Then a cost estimate, environmental analysis (environmental impact assessment of the investment), institutional analysis (i.e. which entity should carry out such an investment in the future) and a schedule of tenders and construction execution were prepared. The cost analysis took into account both the investment costs connected with the construction of a given variant and the operating costs connected with its maintenance. It was also verified whether the city will be able to cover current expenses connected with the functioning of the given option.

Preparation of such a huge project that changes the face of the urban infrastructure is a big responsibility. At the end of the work – in the second quarter of 2021 – we recommended the best solution in terms of efficiency, financial profitability, safety, risk, social and environmental factors – explains Michał Bogucki, Project Manager, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. The optimal solution turned out to be the variant of pre-metro fast tram – i.e. trams with the use of tunnels in the most critical sections. This variant fulfilled all the most important assumptions (e.g. collision-free crossing of the most critical sections and higher transit speed) and at the same time is more cost-effective and possible to finance within the assumptions of the city’s financial plan” he adds.

The analyzed variant of the premetro “shuttle” did not find investment justification. The metro variant was an attractive option – a fast and collision-free solution, but it would not fit into the current assumptions of the city’s financial plan.


Underground construction – the future of cities?


Cities are starting to run out of free space. By 2060, the world’s population will exceed 10 billion people, according to predictions of the United Nations. Population growth, migration and climate changes cause that in the future the use of underground infrastructure may become a necessity. Tunnels are a well-known invention, but is it possible to move almost an entire city underground? An expert from ILF Poland answers this question.

Tunnels and their advantages

The world-famous underground transportation tunnels allow to shorten the way or make it easier. A ride through a long route, drilled into a massive mountain, is always a great attraction and variety for traveling people. However, not only such tunnels are available to us – we can also move under the bottom of the river or the sea. The English Channel, connecting Great Britain and France, which length is over 50 kilometers, is a very important investment, allowing free travel between these countries, without having to build complex port infrastructure.

Building tunnels is expensive, but I think they are the future. They have one great advantage – they can hide underground what we don’t need on the surface, such as car traffic. This is important, because then we do not interfere with green areas, we do not collide with what people would like to do on the surface. A tunnel usually shortens or eases our way – says Marcin Przepiórka, Deputy Director, Transport Infrastructure Area, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. For example, the tunnel under Swina River allows fast, unhindered traffic in both directions, without involving port infrastructure. In the case of mountainous areas, the tunnel clearly shortens the distance to be travelled,” he explains.

More and more often, besides the construction of underground tunnels, there are growing ideas to bring more parts of cities, and especially their infrastructure, into the underground world.


Will we be living underground?

The idea of hiding (almost) entire cities underground starts to be more and more boldly presented and discussed on the world stage. Of course part of the infrastructure will still remain on the surface, such as residential buildings, parks or bicycle paths.

There’ s a trend forming that not only tunnels, but entire cities can be brought underground. Of course, this is a certain metaphor, because it is not possible to literally hide everything below the surface of the earth – people need daylight to live. However, nothing stands in the way of moving all the traffic, like the metro, below. We can also add all the networks necessary for the city to operate, which is already happening, or for example water reservoirs – in fact everything that is possible and not necessary on the surface – explains Marcin Przepiórka, Deputy Director, Transport Infrastructure Area, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. In the above ground part we will keep green areas, residential buildings, parks, sidewalks. The result is a green city, a city with zero noise emissions, because underground traffic can be dampened, and if we enter the era of electric cars in transport, the problem will be completely eliminated. With proper ventilation of underground spaces, we can create cities that are pollution-free,” he concludes.


It’s already happening

Plans for underground cities are already being prepared, and their projects are being created on a grand scale. The Line – the linear city of the future – will connect the Red Sea coast with the north-western corner of Saudi Arabia. According to the assumptions, about a million people will live in it, and its length will reach 170 kilometers! Despite this, it will be possible to provide all the basic needs of life within a few minutes’ walk. This possibility will remain thanks to the above-ground part, which will be an oasis for pedestrians and cyclists. Services and transport will be located underground. The cost of the entire investment is estimated at 500 billion USD.

However, looking at the investments of our western neighbors and those in Poland in a more down-to-earth way, it can be seen that the trend is noticeable.

In Germany, there is a trend to lay electrical lines underground, in tunnels. While the low voltage line does not require any special measures, the issue is more difficult with higher voltage (110-220 kV). We can’t lay a power transmission line in the ground, because the voltage is so high that it requires special tunnels,” says Marcin Przepiórka, Deputy Director, Transport Infrastructure Area, ILF Consulting Engineers Poland. There will be more investments of this type. The technology of building underground is becoming more and more popular – let’s look, for example, at the southern ring road of Warsaw, which is largely hidden under the surface. The process of transferring parts of the city to this zone is happening before our eyes – he adds.

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Fast, collision-free rail transportation system in Krakow


ILF has been working to find the most efficient, reliable, and financially viable option for building new rail transportation in Krakow since September 2018. For that purpose, the company conducted extensive analyses taking into account, among others, planning and financial conditions, characteristics and evaluation of existing transportation subsystems, traffic analyses for the routes, technical, environmental and economic analyses, geological studies, as well as a financial plan. An important aspect which had impact on the presented solutions was the course of the routes in the area of the Old Town and the monuments located there, which required detailed consultations with the municipal and provincial preservation services. ILF Poland’s task was also to obtain opinions from numerous entities regarding the proposed solutions.

Three types of public transportation were analyzed – metro line, premetro “shuttle” and premetro fast tramway. Seven variants of routes in the east-west direction in the northern part of the city were taken into account, including four sub-options for each of them, which were subjected to traffic analyses and the possibility of using the above-mentioned means of transport was checked. The analysis covered seven time horizons up to 2058. This was followed by an optimization of the tramway and bus systems. In total, more than 300 combinations of calculations were performed, resulting in three alternatives for further technical analyses. ILF Poland, having considered the results, recommended the choice of premetro fast tramway as the most advantageous solution in financial, social, and functional terms.

According to the assumptions, the suggested premetro variant is a approx. 22 km long route with 32 stops, connecting Wzgórze Krzesławickie with the area of Jasnogórska street in Prądnik Biały. The length of the tunnel section of this route is to be 6.6 km, and the overground section (flyover) – 1.4 km. The remaining part of the route is to run on the ground. In the study, ILF Poland proposed dividing the section into three stages, for which the planned commissioning date has been set for 2033 – 2037. The estimated number of passengers travelling during rush hours by the new means of transportation may amount to about 14 thousand people, and the cost of implementing the entire task is about 6 billion zlotys gross.

On June 7th, 2021 ILF Poland presented the most important assumptions of the study at a press conference in Krakow.


The City of Bydgoszcz with a huge ecological investment


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska will prepare project documentation for the investment of construction and reconstruction of stormwater drainage system and adaptation of rainwater drainage network to climate change in the city of Bydgoszcz. The project will be implemented on behalf of IDS BUD S.A.

The main aim of the project is to adjust the stormwater drainage system in Bydgoszcz to the current and planned land use. The investment is to protect the city against the effects of heavy rains and large amounts of rainwater and snowmelt – that is to minimize flooding of buildings and flooding of streets, as well as to enable water retention and its use in dry periods.

ILF Poland’s responsibilities include comprehensive design services, including preparation of the building permit design, detailed design and as-built documentation, as well as author’s supervision. The services also include consultations with administrators and municipal entities, obtaining a building permit or notification of work for the construction/ reconstruction of stormwater drainage systems and secondary collisions.

Construction and reconstruction of stormwater drainage system is a huge ecological investment carried out by the municipal waterworks – points out Beata Nepelska-Kula, Projects Department Director at ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. The works are conducted in particularly difficult conditions due to the city center – it is connected with dense buildings and utility infrastructure as well as the necessity to change the traffic organization. However, they are necessary to improve the quality of life in the city and have a real impact on the environment. We are glad that by using our design experience in similar investments, we can be a part of such an important project – she adds.

The project is co-financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund. The works are planned to be completed in 2022.


A new transfer point on the map of Warsaw?


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska (ILF Poland), which has been involved in the construction of the Warsaw metro for nearly 15 years, will carry out an analysis of the technical feasibility of connecting the Centrum station on the I metro line with the Warszawa Śródmieście / Warszawa Centralna railway stations. The entire analysis will take 18 months to complete.

ILF Poland’s scope of work will include the preparation of a preliminary report and an analysis of possible options for connecting the Centrum (M1 line) metro station with the Warszawa Śródmieście / Warszawa Centralna railway stations. In the study ILF Poland will have to consider solutions that minimize the impact of the construction of the connector on the existing  I metro line as well as on the surrounding area.

The purpose of these works is to obtain an analysis of the alternatives for the construction of the connector by providing basic locational and technical assumptions, which will enable further preparatory works.

Three solutions will be analyzed. The first of them assumes a connection over the cross-town tunnel, the second – under the cross-town tunnel (variant according to the PKP PLK concept). The last one is to be ILF Poland’s original variant.

We are glad that we can contribute again to the construction and improvement of the Warsaw metro. Our previous experience in this area has given us a leading position on the Polish market,” points out Rafał Blankiewicz, Business Development Director, ILF Consulting Engineers Polska. The concept of connecting the central station of the I metro line with the most important station of the cross-town line is not new. It is a very important transfer point on the map of Warsaw, which is why it is so important to create this connector. We will make every effort to ensure that the analysis of three alternatives will give a solid basis for choosing the optimal one. The study will answer a number of technical questions about the possibilities and conditions for each of the solutions – he adds.


ILF Poland involved in two new Waste to Energy Plant projects


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska (ILF Poland) is providing consulting services for two new Waste to Energy Plants located in Poland. The company’s portfolio includes many contracts in this area – both domestic and international. In recent years the company has been involved in investments i.a. in Konin, Poznań and United Arab Emirates (in Sharjah and Dubai). Since 2018 it has also been involved in the construction of the Waste to Energy Plant in Gdańsk and since 2020 in Warsaw.

For the first of the new projects, ILF Poland acts as a technical consultant for the investment preparation phase for the Waste to Energy plant in Poland (100,000 t/a). The company’s services include elaboration of complete design documentation necessary to obtain all administrative decisions and permits for the investment implementation and selection of the EPC Contractor.

The company is responsible for preparation of the basic design, Environmental Impact Assessment as well as application and obtaining of the Decision on Environmental Conditions. The scope of ILF Poland’s duties also includes preparation of the necessary documentation required for an application for connection to the power grid as well as an application for issuing the location conditions for the investment. ILF Poland is also responsible for elaboration of the building permit design and for obtaining a final building permit decision for the investment.

In addition ILF Poland – as a technical consultant – will advise the Client regarding the selection of an EPC Contractor. The company will prepare tender documentation, evaluate the bids and recommend the best one. ILF will also participate in negotiations during the proceedings.

For the second Waste to Energy plant (also 100,000 t/a), ILF Poland acts as a technical and environmental consultant. The company’s services include, among others, verification and analysis of the existing project documentation as well as administrative and environmental decisions obtained during the investment process, including the Environmental Impact Assessment, Decision on Environmental Conditions and Building Permit. The company will also verify existing design documentation, taking into consideration adopted technical solutions. The company will also be responsible for the analysis of the Contractor’s technical offer. In addition, ILF Poland will identify the technical risks when it comes to project execution and estimate  capital expenditures (CAPEX).


Lwówek compressor station


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska signed a contract with Gas Transmission Operator GAZ-SYSTEM and is to elaborate the conceptual design for the compressor station, which is to be constructed in proximity of Lwówek Transmission Node, located in Zębów. This is another project related to the implementation of the Baltic Pipe investment and the North-South Gas Corridor, in which ILF will participate.
The company is to elaborate the conceptual design of the compressor station, define environmental, technical and economic conditions of its construction and operation. The possible locations of the compressor station will be analyzed in terms of land acquisition and formal-legal aspects. The conceptual design will take into account the cooperation of the planned compressor station with both existing and future infrastructure in the scope of expected gas transmission scenarios. ILF will also elaborate the time schedule for investment preparation and implementation.

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