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    EU methane regulation means quick closure of mines in Poland says Polish Mining Group president

    “If the methane regulation comes into force in the form which the EU is currently proposing, then in 4 years, the mines of the largest supplier of coal for the power industry will be closed”, said Tomasz Rogala, President of the Polish Mining Group S.A. (PGG S.A.) in an interview published on Thursday, 9 March in the “Rzeczpospolita” daily.

    In Bartłomiej Sawicki’s interview with Tomasz Rogala, entitled ‘EU methane regulation means quick closure of mines in Poland’, the head of PGG S.A. explained that mines would not be able to meet the emission limit. There is currently no technology to completely filter the air from the ventilation of pits with a negligible content of 0.1-0.25 per cent methane, as demanded by the EU. 

    Penalty fees for methane emissions into the atmosphere by PGG S.A. may amount to as much as one and a half billion zlotys a year, when, for comparison, the entire investment fund of the company’s mines amounts to approximately 2.5 billion zlotys a year. Tomasz Rogala emphasised that importers would not have to meet exacting standards, no one would check methane emissions in mines outside the EU, and therefore imported coal would replace domestic coal.

    Asked about the possibility of increasing output due to the energy crisis, the President of PGG S.A. estimated that production might increase by less than one million tonnes of coal per year, but only temporarily, within two years, due to the war in Ukraine and in order to stabilise other energy carriers.

    “It is difficult to talk about an increase in extraction in the face of increasing pressure on the coal power industry from European legislation,” Tomasz Rogala pointed out.

    In the opinion of the head of PGG S.A., the prices of coal on the Polish market will soon begin to fall, following the reductions revealed by the dynamic ARA price index in the ports of northern Europe. He explains that the Polish PCMI index for the power and heating industry reacts with a delay of several months.

    Asked about the progress of negotiations on coal supplies for the largest customer in the power industry – PGE – Tomasz Rogala assured that they would end with the signing of an agreement by the end of March this year.

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