Poland to increase coal mining says minister

Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Poland's mines are working towards increasing coal extraction, a deputy climate minister has said.

The prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced last Wednesday that Poland would cease importing Russian coal at the latest by May 2022, in a move to punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Piotr Dziadzio, a deputy minister of climate and environment and the government's commissioner for natural resources policy, told the EuroPower energy conference on Thursday that domestic coal companies want "to secure their own resources, with their own extraction" in the event of coal shortages resulting from sanctions against Russia.

"By taking full advantage of the demand of our commercial power plants, we are also able to increase production," he said.

Dziadzio added that the Polish energy sector uses only Polish coal, while the coal imported from Russia has so far been used by heating plants and households. In 2021, Poland imported around 6 million tonnes of coal from Russia.

Dziadzio added that Poland is securing "other sources" for coal imports such as Australia, Colombia and South Africa.