Poland opened its first coal mine since 1994 near the town of Jastrzębie-Zdrój in Silesia province, southern Poland, on Wednesday. PM Mateusz Morawiecki, who attended the ceremony, said the new facility, that would extract coking coal used in steel production, will build up the strength of Polish industry.
“One should have a comprehensive view of the economy. We can't have a modern economy without steel, and we can't have steel without coking coal. If we want to promote renewable energy and boost the development of the automotive industry, we need to have very good quality steel,” the head of government argued.
The Bzie-Dębina mine is expected to start extracting coking coal in 2022. Local deposits of the resource, which is indispensable in steel manufacturing, are estimated at some 180 mln tonnes. The mine will reach full capacity in 2025.
The mine was built by Polish mining company JSW, the biggest producer of coking coal in the EU.
JSW CEO Włodzimierz Hereźniak said that the company will invest more than PLN 3 bln (EUR 684 mln) in the new facility by 2030, including more than PLN 900 mln (EUR 205 mln) in 2019-2022. The first longwall will be operational in 2022, he added.
Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said that over the past four years of the Law and Justice government, the JSW coal giant “has been transformed from a troubled company into a vigorous one.”
Currently, the mine has 223 employees but their number will grow to 300 by the end of the year and will reach the target headcount of 2,000 in a few years' time.
JSW produces more than 15 mln tonnes of coking and hard coal annually and plans to increase production to 18 mln tonnes by 2030, focusing on coking coal. Bzie-Dębina’s ultimate capacity is set at 2.2 mln tonnes of coal annually.