Poland to subsidise coal for households as shortages hit

Poland to subsidise coal for households as shortages hit

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Reuters

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A bulldozer works on a heap of coal at the Boleslaw Smialy coal mine, a unit of coal miner Kompania Weglowa (KW), in Laziska Gorne

A bulldozer works on a heap of coal at the Boleslaw Smialy coal mine, a unit of coal miner Kompania Weglowa (KW), in Laziska Gorne, Silesia, southern Poland September 11, 2015. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

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WARSAW, June 14 (Reuters) – Poland will subsidise coal for households and housing cooperatives which use it for heating due to high prices and consumers struggling to buy the fuel amid shortages. Under measures approved by the government on Tuesday, consumers will be able to buy up to three tonnes of coal per household at a maximum price of 996.60 zlotys ($223.84) per tonne, climate minister Anna Moskwa said.

The government will subsidize up to 750 zlotys ($168.45) per tonne to sellers who join the programme to compensate them for the difference between the price of buying and selling the coal. In response to the conflict in Ukraine, Poland in April introduced a ban on imports of Russian coal. The fuel from Russia is used mostly by individual households and heating plants in smaller towns.

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Over 8 million tonnes of Russian coal imported to Poland in 2021 will be replaced with supplies from Colombia, the United States, South Africa and Indonesia, the government says.

But the shortage of fuel on the local market is as high as 11 million tonnes due to declining local production, the Katowice-based chamber of Polish coal traders said.

Over the past weeks, Poland’s top coal miner, state-owned PGG has been offering coal to buyers on its online platform at prices similar to the ones set by the government.

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It could not handle the demand and has restricted access to customers amid media reports that speculators used bots to buy and re-sell the fuel at a profit. Prices for coal offered by private operators are currently three to five times higher.

The bill needs to be adopted by the parliament and should come into force over the summer, Moskwa said.

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