Opposition accuses gov't of not preparing Polish ports for coal shipments

Opposition MPs representing the centrist Civic Coalition (KO) grouping have accused the ruling party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), of failure to prepare Polish seaports for increased coal shipments amid an energy crisis.

Poland is facing severe coal shortages after it banned imports of Russian coal owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The government has asked Polish miners for increased effort and has also been importing coal from other countries, mainly by sea.

On Saturday, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski admitted that Polish seaports were "a bottleneck" for coal purchases.

"Their reloading capacity is big and is still growing, but a huge number of the wharves were sold. And who sold them? Did we sell them? No! The Civic Platform (KO's backbone party - PAP) sold them," Kaczynski said.

But KO's Agnieszka Pomaska said at a press conference in the port of Gdynia on Monday that the government held close to 100-percent stakes in the ports of Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Swinoujscie and that the seaports' board members had been nominated by PiS.

"Let me remind you that Law and Justice has been in power for seven years and it is Law and Justice that is responsible for the condition of the Polish economy, including the maritime economy," Pomaska said.

Polish State Treasury companies have contracted more than 7 million tonnes of coal while over 3 million tonnes have already come to Poland, according to Anna Moskwa, the climate minister.

According to her, the coal is being imported from Colombia, Tanzania, the United States, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia.