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EURACOALEuropeanAssociationforCoalandLignite

Poland
Coal and lignite are strategic fuels for power generation in
Poland, where indigenous supplies of these fuels have
underpinnedgrowthinelectricitysupply.Thecontributionofcoal
and lignite to total power generation is dominant today and is
expectedtobemaintainedinthemediumterm.
Poland has hard coal reserves totalling 19.1 billion tonnes,
mainly located in Upper Silesia and in the Lublin basin.
Mineablelignitereservesamounttoalmost1.6billiontonnes.

Poland

More than half of Polish power stations are over 25 years old,
whilstaboutonequarterhasbeeninoperationformorethan30
years. The lignite fired power plants are amongst the newest
onesandtheyarebeingrefurbishedtomeetEUenvironmental
standards.Polandhasnonuclearpowerstations,buthasplans
toconstructanewnuclearpowerplantby2020.
Several European energy companies, including VATTENFALL,
RWE, EDF and GDF SUEZ are currently active in the Polish
energy sector, having a certain impact on energy production
and distribution as well as on the governments privatisation
policy. Polish national energy policy is focused on security of
energy supply, with competitive cost structures, minimal
environmentalimpactsandincreasedenergyefficiency.
According to the Energy Policy of Poland to 2030, coal is
expectedtoremainthemainfuelforelectricitygeneration,buta
general reduction of energy consumption by industry and a 19
% share of renewables by 2020 are targeted. Nevertheless,
electricityconsumptionin2030isexpectedtoincreaseby30%,
gasconsumptionby42%andpetroleumproductsconsumption
by7%.
Poland does not have significant reserves of oil and only
modest natural gas reserves, although it may have great
potential to exploit unconventional gas. The government has
issued over 90 licenses for shale gas exploration and reliable
assessments are expected to be presented in due time.
However,initialanalysisshowsthatPolandhashugeshalegas
deposits, stretching from the northern Baltic Sea coast to the
eastern borders with Ukraine and Belarus, totalling over 5 000
billion cubic metres. Experts estimate that this amount could
cover domestic needs for over 100 to 200 years. If these
estimates were confirmed, it would change the fuel mix of the
countryandreduceenergydependenceonRussia.

Hardcoal
Poland is Europes biggest hard coal producer and was once
one of the worlds leading suppliers. In the 1970s, Poland
became Europes biggest coal producer, with an annual output
of around 150 million tonnes. In the late 1970s, it was the
second largest coal exporter in the world, after the USA,
exportingaround40milliontonneseachyear.Althoughtherole
ofPoland,asanexportingcountry,wasalreadydeclininginthe
1980s, the output was maintained at a significantly high level
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(193 million tonnes in 1988) compared with other European


countries.
It was not until the political turnaround in the Eastern Bloc
countries and the ensuing transition to a market economy
system, that Poland began to experience a contraction of hard
coal mining during the early 1990s that had begun in Western
Europe two decades earlier. Nevertheless, coal continues to
play a major role, making a 52 % contribution to the countrys
primaryenergysupply.Inrecentyears,theoutputofhardcoal
was about 75 million tonnes reaching 79.2 million tonnes in
2012. In 2012, the Polish hard coal industry employed a
workforceofsome113000.
Commercially workable hard coal reserves are located in the
UpperSilesianbasinandtheLublinbasinintheeastofPoland,
with the Upper Silesian coalfield accounting for 93 % of the
total. The coal reserves in this region contain some 400 coal
seamswiththicknessesof0.8metresto3.0metres.Abouthalf
of these seams are economically workable. Some 56 % of the
workable coal reserves consist of steam coal, while the
remaining44%arecokingcoal.
All hard coal is deep mined at an average working depth of
approximately600metres.Miningisfullymechanised,withover
90%ofcoalproducedbylongwallsystems.Therunofmine
coalfromundergroundoperationscontainsdiscardandrequires
preparation. In the past, only coking coal was cleaned to meet
international quality standards. The expansion of existing coal
preparation plants, and the commissioning of new coal
upgradingfacilitiesinrecentyears,hasresultedinasignificant
improvement in the quality of Polish steam coal, which meets
worldmarketrequirements.
Most of the countrys natural resources, including coal, are in
publichandsandcoalminingisstillmostlyastaterunactivity.
However, in recent years, the state has made decisions on
ownership changes in the Polish hard coal industry. In 2009,
LUBELSKI WGIEL BOGDANKA, a steam coal producer
operating in the Lublin basin, was privatised and listed on the
Warsawstockexchange.Itsdebutonthestockexchangewas
seenasasuccess.
Bogdanka mine is executing a development strategy that will
see a doubling of production. It intends to expand the mining
area to new mining fields. Taking advantage of its geographic
location, Bogdanka has, for the time being, no problems with
sellingallofitsproduction.InDecember2010,theCzechgroup
EPH took over Silesia hard coal mine from KOMPANIA
WGLOWA.Thenewlycreatedcompany,PGSILESIA,started
coal production in 2012. In 2011 JASTRZBSKA SPKA
WGLOWA (JSW), the largest Polish coking coal producer,
listedontheWarsawstockexchange.Afterhavingreachedan
agreement with trade unions, the government gave a green
light to the initial public offering of a minority share in JSW.
JSWisregardedasoneofthetopminingcompaniesinPoland
with reserves of good quality coking coal and a well
establishedcustomerbaseofsteelproducers.JSWisalsothe
largestcokeproducerintheEU,possessingsubstantialcoking
facilitiesofabout34milliontonnesannualcapacity.
The government has presented a policy which aims to fully
privatise all coal mining companies in the coming years.
WGLOKOKS SA, the biggest Polish coal exporter, is
scheduledtobelistedontheWarsawstockexchangein2013.
Two other coal producing companies remain under state
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ownership:KOMPANIAWGLOWASA(KW),theEUslargest
coalmininggroupwithaproductioncapacityofnearly40million
tonnes of coal, and KATOWICKI HOLDING WGLOWY SA
(KHW)withaproductioncapacityof12milliontonnesofthermal
coal.Thegovernmentplanstolistbothoftheseentitiesonthe
stock exchange in the next two or three years, but such
ambitions will be largely dictated by the economic outlook and
generalmarketconditions.
Themainobjectivesofthecoalindustryoverthecomingyears
are to overcome legal barriers that restrict access to new coal
depositsandtoapplyefficientandmodernminingtechnologies
alongside low emission technologies in the power generation
sector.
Coalexportersandrecentlyalsocoalimportershaveanefficient
infrastructure at their disposal, with cross border rail links to
neighbouring countries and to Baltic Sea ports for exports and
imports. These comprise Gdask, winoujcie, Szczecin and
Gdyniaports.Amongtheseterminals,Gdaskandwinoujcie
are able to load capesize vessels. Hard coal exports from
Poland totalled 6.4 million tonnes in 2012, and about half of
theseweretransportedbylandtoneighbouringcountries,while
theremainingvolumesweretransshippedviatheBalticports.
Polish ports such as Szczecin winoujcie and Gdask have
builtpermanentpiersfortheimportofcoaland,overtime,both
the ports and railways may offer better transport conditions for
importerswithlargecontracts.
Indeed, Poland has become a net importer of coal. In 2010,
importsofcoalwere13.4milliontonnes,in2011theyreached
15 million tonnes, before dropping to 10.2 million tonnes in
2012, mainly due to the economic slow down. Imports were
dominated by deliveries from Russia. Much smaller quantities
come from other countries, including the Czech Republic,
Colombia,KazakhstanandtheUSA.
Polishcoalminesstillhaveageographicadvantage,butthisis
beginningtoshrinkwiththeexpansionofportsandlogistichubs
near Polands eastern border, both of which facilitate coal
imports from abroad. Indigenous coal is becoming less
attractiveforpowergeneratorsthancheaperimportedcoal.This
isabigchallengeforPolishcoalproducers,becauseelectricity
generators are no longer guided by loyalty, but mostly by
economiccalculations.
The thermal hard coal market also faces increasing pressure
from environmental targets being dictated by the European
Unionwhichobligememberstatestogeneratemoreandmore
electricity from low carbon sources, whilst the coking coal
industry is at the mercy of the performance of the European
steelindustry.
In order to increase the use of hard coal, not only for its
combustionbutalsofornonconventionaluse,itwasdecided
to open a Centre of Clean Coal Technologies co financed by
EU funds and co managed by the Central Mining Institute
(GIG)andtheInstituteofChemicalCoalProcessing.Thisisan
importantopportunitytogivePolishcoalthechancetobecome
an environmentally friendly and socially acceptable fuel in
future.
Beside its hard coal mining industry, Poland also has a well
developed and technically advanced mining machinery and
equipment industry. Together with the research institutes and
technology centres KOMAG, EMAG and GIG, the machinery
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and equipment sector assists the Polish hard coal industry to


continuouslydevelopandmoderniseitsactivities.
Despitethecurrenteconomicslowdown,coalcompaniesand
other investors, including those from abroad, are interested in
makinginvestmentsinnewPolishcoalmines.

Lignite
Polands lignite deposits are exclusively mined in opencast
mines. Two of these operations are located in central Poland
andathirdoneliesinthesouthwestofthecountry.In2012,
totalligniteproductionreached64.3milliontonnes(18.2Mtce),
98.4%ofwhichwasusedbyminemouthpowerplants.Lignite
fired power stations generated 55.6 TWh of electricity,
representing one third of the total gross power generated in
Poland.
The Bechatw basin, situated in the central part of Poland,
incorporates two lignite fields: Bechatw and Szczercw. In
2012, the Bechatw mine produced 40.1 million tonnes (10.8
Mtce) of lignite, this being 62.5 % of Polands total lignite
production. Mining this lignite required the removal of some
106.9 million cubic metres of overburden, which equates to an
overburdentoligniteratioof2.6cubicmetrespertonne.The
depthoftheminingoperationintheBechatwfieldisabout300
metres and the average calorific value of the fuel is 7 960 kJ /
kg. Bechatw mine is expected to remain in operation until
2038. The lignite output is supplied entirely to a mine mouth
power plant, with a capacity of 5 298 MW. The power plant
generates 27 28 TWh per year, covering about 20 % of
domestic power requirements. Built between 1981 and 1988, it
generates the cheapest electricity in Poland. A new 858 MW
power unit was put into service on 27 September 2011 in the
PGEGiEKSABechatwpowerplant.
In the Turoszw lignite basin, located in the south west of
Poland,theTurwminehasaproductioncapacityof15million
tonnes per year (4.1 Mtce). Reserves are estimated at 340
million tonnes (91.6 Mtce). In 2012, the mine produced over
10.3milliontonnesoflignite(2.8Mtce),representing16.1%of
Polands total lignite production, with a calorific value of 9 564
kJ/kg.Upto96%oftheligniteissuppliedtothePGEGiEKSA
Turw mine mouth power station. This plant has been
modernised and upgraded to a capacity of 2 100 MW. On 31
December 2012, unit No. 9 at the power plant was
decommissioned. Currently, the Turw power plant has a
capacityof1698MWandisoneofthemostmoderninPoland.
In 2012, some 45.6 million cubic metres of overburden were
removed,givingastrippingratioof4.4cubicmetrespertonne.
Turwmineisexpectedtobeinoperationuntil2045.
The Bechatw and Turw lignite mines, as well as Bechatw
and Turw power plants, belong to the group of companies
included in the PGE Grnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna
(PGEGiEKSA)havingitsofficeinBechatw.Thecompanyis
one of the six key companies belonging to the majority state
owned Polish utility POLSKA GRUPA ENERGETYCZNA SA
(PGE).
TheKoninAdamwbasin,locatedincentralPolandbetween
Warsaw and Pozna, has been producing lignite for over 50
years. There are two active mines: Konin and Adamw, which
belongtothePAKGroupandarenamedPAKKWBKoninSA
andPAKKWBAdamwSA.
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PAK KWB Konin SA has a production capacity of 15 million


tonnes per year (4.1 Mtce). Lignite is produced at three
opencast sites: Jwin IIB, Drzewce and Tomisawice. Total
lignite production reached 10.1 million tonnes (2.7 Mtce) in
2012. It required the removal of 70.7 million cubic metres of
overburden,astrippingratioof6.9cubicmetrespertonne.The
working depth at these pits varies between 25 metres and 80
metres. The extracted fuel has an average calorific value of 9
220 kJ / kg. The planned lignite production from PAK KWB
Konin SA is estimated to be about 195 million tonnes (52.5
Mtce). The Konin mine supplies lignite to three mine mouth
powerplants:PtnwIwithaninstalledcapacityof1200MW,
Konin(583MW)andPtnwII(464MW).
PAK KWB Adamw SA operates three opencast pits, named
Adamw, Wadysaww and Komin. Adamw mines overall
productioncapacityis5milliontonnesperyear(1.3Mtce).The
depth of mining operations is between 44 metres and 70
metres. The deposits currently being exploited have workable
reserves of 44 million tonnes (11.8 Mtce). In 2012, lignite
production reached 3.6 million tonnes (0.9 Mtce), all of which
was supplied to the 600 MW Adamw mine mouth power
station. Some 31.7 million cubic metres of overburden was
removed, which gives a stripping ratio of 8.7 cubic metres per
tonne.
The entire Ptnw Adamw Konin (PAK) lignite basin
generates approximately 8.5 % of Polands electricity
requirements. The mines belong to ZESP ELEKTROWNI
PTNWADAMWKONINSAwhichlistedontheWarsaw
stock exchange in October 2012. PAK KWB Adamw SA is
expectedtoremaininoperationuntil2023andPAKKWBKonin
SAuntil2040.
The average productivity at Polands lignite mines was 4 236
tonnespermanyearin2012andemploymenttotalled15156.
Polands lignite mining areas can maintain their annual
production output at current levels of around 60 million tonnes
and lignite is expected to play an important role in Polands
energysupplyuntilatleast2030.

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