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Poland Aims To Fill Export Gap Using U.S. Coal

Weglokoks said on Wednesday that it plans to resell the imported U.S. coal abroad, mostly to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany and Austria, but would also consider sales to customers in Poland in the future.

That would be likely to cause friction with Poland's energy ministry, which expects the country's utilities to buy and burn coal from domestic mines.

"We want the energy security in Poland to be guaranteed by Polish coal production," Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told Reuters on Wednesday following the news from Weglokoks.

Poland's biggest coal mining firm PGG, which was saved from bankruptcy last year, is struggling to meet demand from its major clients – mostly state-run listed utilities, after cost-cutting led to lower investment.

Weglokoks, which is one of PGG shareholders as well as one of its clients, sees its coal exports at around 2.5 million tonnes this year down from 4 million tonnes in 2016.

"The fall results from a bigger demand on the domestic market, which has led to a limited access to coal for export," Weglokoks spokesman said in an e-mail.

The first test shipment from the U.S. of 75,000 tonnes of high-energy coal is expected to arrive in Poland in mid October, Weglokoks said, adding that it does not rule out more cargoes, also from Kazakhstan and Colombia.

Poland's Rzeczpospolita newspaper, which was first to report Weglokoks plans to import U.S. coal, said that the exporter is in advanced talks with Polish utilities, including the biggest power producer PGE on potential coal sales.

The Weglokoks spokesman declined to comment on this.

By Mining.com

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  • Adam on September 29 2017 said:
    @ Naomi, the reason the domestic coal producer is struggling is a direct result of the previous government attempting to destroy them as they did with Polands key industries. LOT the polish airplane carrier is another example. Now that the government is back in the hands of the people things are going to stabilize and Polish industry will have a level playing field that will allow for strong growth.
  • Naomi on September 28 2017 said:
    Polish coal is expensive. Polish coal miners are paid more than they are worth. Capitalist American coal miners invest in efficiency. Read up on capitalism. Invest more capital. Earn higher pay.

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