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The largest European coal-fired power plant can be found in the area surrounding Bełchatów, together with its accompanying lignite mine industries. This industrial complex is the largest employer in the region. 

A major lignite deposit was discovered in 1960 near Bełchatów, and work on a mining and power-generating project started in 1975, while the region’s landscape began featuring heavy industrial infrastructure. Bełchatów’s population has grown rapidly since then. 

These structural changes will bring about societal and economic changes in the region, with at least 14 000 workers affected. As such those currently and formerly employed in coal and mining industries as well as young people have been indenitified as least engaged communities to involve in the DUST project.  

In 2021, the Voivodship published its Territorial Just Transition Plan. It sets 2038 as the target year for turning off energy generation units at the Bełchatów plant and the end date for lignite mining in the Bełchatów region, the infrastructure of which has become intertwined and embedded in the natural landscape. 

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