Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors participate in the International Fair of Mining, Power Industry and Metallurgy that opened in the southern Polish city of Katowice.
Exhibitions are being presented by around 350 companies, coming from Poland, Canada, Russia, China, Ukraine, Germany, the UK, Slovenia, Cyprus, Italy, Belgium, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and France.
In addition to the usual exhibition, this year three days of conferences will be held. Each day different issues will be addressed, respectively, heavy industry, electric mobility and automation of production, and environmentally friendly energy solutions.
The fair is taking place in Katowice, the capital of Upper Silesia Province which, thanks to large coal reserves located in the area, is one of the most important mining and industrial centres in Europe. The event is organised biannually. Some 25,000 people attended the previous edition.
Poland dependent on coal
Poland’s energy production is very much reliant on coal, with 78.2 percent of all electric energy produced last year coming from coal or lignite. The government’s long term energy strategy calls for reducing the energy sector’s dependence on coal to 60 percent by 2030.
The country is also the world’s ninth largest producer of coal and with 47.5 million tons extracted last year, it’s responsible for more than a third of the EU's extraction. Since 2008 Poland has decreased its coal production by 22 percent.
The government is seeking ways of lowering the energy sector dependence on coal, due to factors such as European Union’s pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, high extraction costs, resulting from the significant depth of coal reserves, and bad relations with Russia, which provides roughly half of Poland’s coal imports.