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Coal in Poland

AUTHOR: Lee B. Clarke, Alessandra McConville
DATE: March 1998

Poland remains a major producer and consumer of coal. Total reserves of bituminous and subbituminous coal are estimated at 60 billion tonnes, principally located in three basins (Upper Silesian, Lower Silesian, Lublin). lignite reserves are estimated as 14 billion tonnes). Production has fallen steadily since the late-1980s, reflecting falling domestic consumption an dcompetition for exports from cheaper suppliers. Nevertheless, Poland is still ranked 7th in the world in terms of coal production. Organisational changes in the mining industry allowed production to be stabilised in 1995. However, the downward trend is expected to continue as further rationalisation occurs and uneconomic pits are closed. Production of coking coal has declined as domestic demand has decreased. Coal currently provides around 70% of Poland's primary energy supply, but this is expected to fall as use of other sources of primary energy increase. Almost all of Poland's electricity production and district heating is coal fired. Environmental damage as a result of coal production and use has been severe in Poland. Environmental regulation and policy has been strengthened in recent years.