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Appeal to MEPs

Representatives of the largest coal companies have sent an open letter to MEPs on the EU regulation on reducing methane emissions, which is harmful to Polish mines. The open letter was signed on 4 April 2023 at the headquarters of Polska Grupa Górnicza by the president of PGG S.A. Tomasz Rogala, president of Tauron Wydobycie Jacek Pytel and vice-president of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa Wojciech Kałuża. The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister of State Assets, Representative of the Government for Transformation of Energy Companies, Coal Mining and Metallurgy Marek Wesoły.

“This regulation is so broad in scope that it affects every Pole and all of Poland. If it were to happen that we fail to negotiate the appropriate parameters to allow the mining industry to operate in Poland, the dates indicated in this regulation mean that in 2027 our energy security will be at risk," said Deputy Minister of State Assets Marek Wesoły.

As Deputy Minister Wesoły recalled, the regulation, harmful to Polish mines, would take effect as early as 2027, and in 2031 would also cover coking coal mines, i.e. Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa. That's why the heads of mining companies are looking for every way to prevent the implementation of the EU regulation. In the letter, they pointed out, among other things, that the emission limits stipulated in the draft regulation are impossible to meet in any underground mine with methane seams in Poland.

“We believe that setting limits is wrong, because it accelerates the decommissioning of mines, and such action has nothing to do with a fair transition - it is a wild transition. That is why we, as presidents of mining companies, have decided to address an open letter to representatives of the European Parliament to draw attention to these issues," stressed Tomasz Rogala, President of the Management Board of Polska Grupa Górnicza.

The draft regulation currently under discussion in the European Parliament is to introduce a standard of 5 tons of methane emissions into the atmosphere per 1,000 tons of mined coal other than coking coal from 2027 (the original draft allowed 0.5 tons), and from 2031 - 3 tons of methane per 1,000 tons of coal, including coking coal.

Polish mines emit an average of 8 to 14 tons of methane per 1,000 tons of coal mined. They would be subject to heavy fines for exceeding the limits; in Polska Grupa Górnicza S.A. this would be, according to estimates, as much as approx. PLN 1.5 billion a year, and in the entire Polish mining industry about PLN 4 billion a year.

Recall that the coking coal produced by mines threatened by this regulation has been included by the EU on the list of raw materials of critical and strategic importance for the security of the European Community.

Representatives of coal companies have been pointing out for months that the bill in its current form is a threat to Polish mines and to the energy transition in Poland and Europe. The contents of the letter are attached.

 

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