Over 2,000 Polish local gov’ts signed deals to distribute coal to households: PM
Poland’s prime minister has said that more than 2,000 municipal governments have already signed agreements with importers of coal to distribute the resource to households.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki meets reporters in the northern port of Gdańsk on Monday, December 5, 2022. PAP/Adam Warżawa
Mateusz Morawiecki made the announcement in the northern port of Gdańsk on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
More than 2,000 municipal governments signed deals to distribute coal to households
The PM told reporters: “I can say that already more than 2,000 municipal governments have signed agreements with importers [for the distribution of coal.”
He added that over 200 municipalities have not yet struck such deals, but said the central government was prepared to supply coal to every locality “to make sure no household is short of coal.”
Coal prices ‘systematically falling’
Morawiecki also noted that the prices of coal were systematically falling, from over PLN 3,000 (EUR 640) per tonne to less than PLN 2,000 (EUR 430) per tonne, “which is very similar to the price levels before the surge in inflation,” he said.
The PM went on to say: “After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the raw materials market was plunged into chaos. There weren’t any normal market mechanisms; we had to replace them with the mechanisms of a well-performing state.”
He noted that Polish households had faced problems with the supply of coal.
“The European Union’s embargo on Russian coal has forced us to search rather intensely for new sources of coal and to step up imports from existing sources,” the PM added.
He said the price of coal had also been a problem, with one tonne costing over PLN 4,000 (EUR 850) a mere two or three months before.
Morawiecki added his government had also offered a one-off allowance of PLN 3,000 (EUR 640) to all families that use coal to heat their homes.
Coal imported from ‘all over the world’
He stated: “This policy has also turned out to be insufficient. And so we have entered a whole logistical chain, a whole transport system, from importing coal to handling it in ports, like here in Gdańsk.”
The PM stressed: “We have used all possibilities to transship coal and to import it from abroad through Latvia, through the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerpia, through Germany, from all over the world.”
Morawiecki told reporters: “Today, after speaking with the head of the central administration in the northern Pomorskie province, with the directors of the ports in Gdańsk, I can say that we have an overabundance of coal. We know the coal is here.”
Poland’s cap on coal prices
Last month, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill that puts a cap on the price of coal sold in the country, to protect households from rising energy costs fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Under the law, households are able to buy coal from local governments for no more than PLN 2,000 (EUR 430) per tonne, the PAP news agency reported.
Meanwhile, local governments are able to purchase coal from producers and wholesalers for no more than PLN 1,500 (EUR 319) per tonne, according to officials.