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Polska Grupa Górnicza is afraid of new EU regulations

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The introduction of EU regulations on the reduction of methane emissions in the proposed form would mean the closure of seven mines of Polska Grupa Górnicza in 2027, and two more in 2031, Tomasz Rogala, President of Polska Grupa Górnicza, assessed. The head of the largest mining company hopes that the proposed regulations will not come into force.

The regulations currently being discussed in the European Parliament introduce a standard of 5 tons of methane per 1,000 tons of extracted coal in 2027; in 2031, it would be 3 tons of gas for 1,000 tons of coal. Polish mines emit more – on average from 8 to 14 tons of methane per 1,000 tons of extracted coal, so they would be subject to high penalties for exceeding the standards. – This regulation destroys the social contract regarding the pace of moving away from coal in Poland, accelerates the closure of mines; therefore, as the mining sector, we will strive to introduce corrections – said the president of PGG, who is also the president of the European Hard Coal and Lignite Association Euracoal, in an interview for Telewizja Republika.

PGG is afraid of fines of PLN 1.5 billion per year

The content of the interview was presented on Thursday by the PGG press office. In the opinion of President Rogala, if the proposed regulations came into force, after 2031, out of the current 12 PGG production plants, there would be three, which would also be subject to high penalties. – The penalties in this document are intended to be severe and dissuasive. According to estimates, in the case of PGG we can expect an annual fee of approx. PLN 1.5 billion – said the president of PGG.

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He reminded that ultimately methane drainage installations are to capture up to approx. 45 percent. emitted in the production of methane, but the rest will still be released into the atmosphere. – It makes no sense to agree on decarbonisation until 2049 and a slow departure from coal (as provided for in the Social Agreement for Mining of May 2021 – PAP), when regulations that accelerate the liquidation of mines are generally introduced through the back door. It would be fair to say: ladies and gentlemen, you are not allowed to produce coal at all, said the president of PGG in a television interview.

End of coal production in Poland?

In his opinion, the draft regulation closes the possibility of coal production in Poland, but it is lenient for importers – in their case it is enough to declare that they have exercised all due diligence related to methane emissions. – Emissions do not have a passport, they do not report at the borders. The expected production of coal in the world for 2022 is about 8.4 billion tons, and Poland produces only 53 million tons per year. We are talking about such values, with Polish mines in the process of closing until 2049 – said Tomasz Rogala. – So what is the point of preparing plans for Poland, which is moving away from coal, to change the energy mix to very ambitious ones, based on nuclear energy, with standards that are supposed to increase energy dependence on imported hydrocarbons? – added the president of PGG. The vote on the regulation on methane emissions is scheduled in the European Parliament for March.

– At PGG and the Euracoal association, we will certainly strive to introduce amendments to the EP that will raise the limits related to methane emissions to such an extent that the Social Agreement can be kept and that the company can operate until 2049 – declared Tomasz Rogala. A few days ago, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin appealed in a letter to Polish MEPs for help and to take the necessary actions to amend the EU regulation on the reduction of methane emissions in the raw materials and energy industry. The adoption of these regulations would hit Polish hard coal mines the hardest.

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