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Upper Silesian Industrial District

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Upper Silesia is not only one of the most densely populated regions of Poland, but the most industrialised part of the country as well. Thus, the area covering the industrial centres in the central and eastern parts of Upper Silesia and the Dabrowskie Basin (Zaglebie Dabrowskie), with Katowice as its largest and major city, is known as the Upper Silesian Industrial District (Gornoslaski Okreg Przemysłowy, GOP for short).

From the geological point of view, it is located within the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (Gornoslaskie Zaglebie Weglowe) renowned as one of the world's largest bituminous coalfields. As coal is the main deposit in the area, mining is the major industry in the Upper Silesian Industrial District with the coal mines situated mainly in the following Upper Silesian towns: Bierun, Brzeszcze, Bytom, Katowice, Knurów, Ledziny, Laziska Gorne, Piekary, Radlin, Ruda Slaska, Rybnik and Rydultowy.

KopalniaHowever, coal mining is not the only branch of industry developed in the Upper Silesian Industrial District. Other strategic field is the metallurgical engineering with major steelworks and non-ferrous metal works in Katowice (Ferrum Steelworks, Szopienice Non-Ferrous Metal Works), in Dabrowa Gornicza (Katowice Steelworks), the largest one in Poland, in Laziska Gorne (Laziska Steelworks) and in Ruda Slaska (Pokoj Steelworks).

The Upper Silesian Industrial District is also famous for its power plants and combined heat and power plants. The largest power plant in the region, generating above 7 % of the national electric energy output, is the ''Rybnik'' Power Plant (Elekrownia Rybnik). Other chief plants have been incorporated into the Southern Energetic Concern (Poludniowy Koncern Energetyczny), which supplies approximately 17 % of the national electric energy and 16 % of the local heat output. These are: ''Jaworzno III'' Power Plant in Jaworzno, ''Halemba'' Power Plant in Ruda Slaska, ''Lagisza'' Power Plant in Bedzin, ''Siersza'' Power Plant in Trzebinia and ''Laziska'' Power Plant in Laziska Gorne.

The machine and transportation industry is also a well-developing branch as the following plants can be found in the Upper Silesian Industrial District: the Opel car factory in Gliwice, the Fiat car factory in Tychy, the Alstom Konstal railway rolling stock manufacturer in Chorzow, ''Bumar Labedy'' construction machines producer in Gliwice.

All in all, the Upper Silesian Industrial District is still a region which yields big profits for the whole country. However, as a result of recent economic reforms the shift has been made from heavy industry to small businesses and service industry companies,


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