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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Energy – coal. There is a shortage of raw materials, prices are breaking records. “It must be fair to say winter can be harsh”

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You have to prepare that winter may be tough – said Mariusz Marszałkowski from Biznes Alert on TVN24. According to the expert, a difficult period awaits us “not only because there will be high prices, but also in many places this coal may be lacking, especially in the poorest”. He also pointed out that there is not an adequate number of coal wagons that could transport the raw material.

It follows from the draft included in the list of legislative works of the government that the government wants to introduce a one-time allowance coal in the amount of PLN 3,000. The allowance will be granted to farms where the main source of heating is a coal stove.

– In fact, this is the second attempt to solve the problems of high coal prices. The first one was to establish the maximum price per tonne of coal, the expert reminded.

The maximum price for one ton of coal has been set at a level not exceeding PLN 996.60. This is the maximum price, which means that the coal offered to consumers may be cheaper. The regulations assume that household members will be able to buy a maximum of 3 tons of coal at this price.

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Coal. Expert on governing solutions

Marszałkowski pointed out that this solution “does not work”. – The act has not yet entered into force formally, but it is basically a thing of the past – he said.

As he explained, the problem with the act is that “the maximum price was established together with the maximum surcharge for a ton of coal”. – This surcharge was PLN 1073 for the importer. If the importer now imports coal from Rotterdam, because it is the main exchange, and imports this coal for over two thousand zlotys, not to mention the costs of transport, storing this coal in ports, warehouses, then suddenly it turns out that no one is profitable, because it means subsidizing the business – he explained.

He pointed out that “there was an absurd provision in the act that this refund, this surcharge, would be received by the importer in the next year”. – So now he would have to freeze a few thousand, hundreds of thousands or millions, depending on the scale, and he would not have the money to buy (coal – ed.). This would mean a problem of financial liquidity – he assessed.

The expert also referred to the new government proposal, which provides for the introduction of subsidies for the purchase of coal in the amount of three thousand zlotys. – Such a standard Kowalski who fires a house, at today’s prices, will be able to buy about one ton of this coal. Maybe a little more, he said.

When asked how long it would be enough, he replied that “an average household uses about 4-5 tons of coal per heating season.” – It is 25%, 20%, depending on the scale of thermal insulation of a given household. It is not much. Looking at the market and the prices that operate, it may be even worse, because prices are rising, the demand for coal will grow. We heard about not buying coal in May and June, but just in August and September. Back then, theoretically, the prices in previous years were the cheapest and now I am afraid that there may be problems with the availability of this coal – he said.

The problem “that nobody talked about aloud”

He drew attention to a problem that “has been functioning since last year, but nobody talked about it aloud”. – This is a problem of the railways, there are not even enough coal wagons that could transport coal. This problem was signaled by heating companies last year – he said. As he emphasized, “PKP Cargo sold a large number of its coal wagons a few years ago, because coal was to become obsolete, we were not supposed to burn coal anymore”.

“You have to honestly tell the citizens that you have to prepare, the winter can be tough,” he said. According to the expert, a difficult period awaits us “not only because there will be high prices, but also in many places this coal may be lacking, especially in the poorest”.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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