WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish state-run power producers will halt coal imports, State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin said on Tuesday, after protests by mining trade unions over foreign supplies they say are a threat to the domestic industry.
Poland generates most of its electricity from coal, but domestic output has fallen because of cost-cutting and geological problems in old mines, which had led to higher imports, mostly from Russia.
Last week around 100 miners blocked trains carrying coal to a power plant in the southern town of Laziska Gorne in protest at imports from Russia by state-run energy groups, including PGE and Tauron.
Unions said increased imports, together with falling demand following a mild winter, have increased coal stockpiles, threatening normal operations of Poland’s coal mines.
“Energy groups had been forced to import coal, because there was none in Poland. Now the situation is different and I can declare they will no longer buy coal from abroad. We want to focus on Polish coal first of all,” Sasin told private radio RMF FM.
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