Polish government chokes on coal

Last Modified: Sun Feb 21 2016 21:00:33 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • €390 million
    Polish coal industry losses in the first three-quarters of 2015.
  • €3.5 billion
    cummulative debt of the coal industry. This will only get worse as piles of unsold coal are mounting near mines and power plants, while mining companies scramble to pay salaries and have slashed investment to almost nil.
  • 40%
    cut in emissions by 2030 EU goals post COP21. In addition, renewables need to account for 27 percent of energy and for energy efficiency to increase by 27 percent. EU goals are only adding to the pressure felt by an industry deep in debt.
  • $75
    cost to mine a ton of Polish coal, while the thermal coal price in Antwerp is hovering at around $50 a ton. The unacceptable high cost is on account of Poland’s coal mines that tend to be deep, old and expensive — a dire combination when global coal prices are plummeting.
  • 700 tons
    of coal a year that a Polish miner digs according to a report by the Warsaw Institute of Economic Studies; his U.S. counterpart produces 4,000.
  • 90%
    of its electricity is generated using coal, and the sector provides about 100,000 jobs. The issue is thus, more than economic, it’s also emotional and patriotic. It also ensures energy independence — all of Poland’s crude and most of its natural gas comes from Russia.
  • 2019
    year that coal sector will continue to function until, based on a bill that was approved in October 2015. So until then the losses will continue to mount.