The Polish Government has signed a deal to acquire stakes in anthracite mine operator Polska Grupa Gornicza (PGG) from four state utility companies, reported Reuters.
The deal forms part of the country’s efforts to transform the ‘heavily polluting’ coal sector.
One of the biggest coal producers in Europe, Poland relies on the fuel for around 70% of its electricity production.
However, the country is now encouraging more investment in low-emission sources to reduce its dependence on coal.
In May 2021, the state assets ministry said it plans to buy coal assets from its utilities, including Enea, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), and Tauron Polska Energia (TPE) in Q2 or Q3 2022.
These assets are planned to be moved to a new state-owned entity.
According to the latest conditional deal, Energa, PGNiG, PGE and Enea will offload their shares in PGG to the Polish state for a zl1 (PLN1).
Polish Ministry of State Assets spokesperson Karol Manys was quoted by the news agency as saying: “This is one of the steps leading to separation of coal assets from energy companies and realisation of conditions set in the social contract on coal mining.”
The social agreement aims to protect mine workers as the country gradually phases out coat production while ensuring energy security.
In March 2022, Reuters reported that the Polish Government adopted draft legislation to ban coal imports from Russia in light of the latter’s military attack on Ukraine.
In 2020, Poland imported nearly 9.4 million tonnes of Russian coal, which represented 20% of the country’s domestic use.
It also imports 50% of its gas and more than 60% of the oil it refines from Russia.