ELECTION FEVER: POLITICIANS ON COAL #3

A week ago we wrote about PO’s plans for Polish energy and coal sectors. Today a few words about ideas by their main rivals from Prawo i Sprawiedliwość. Although PiS still haven’t revealed the full version of their program, some politicians lifted the veil of secrecy. So far, the agenda presented by PiS seems to be more consistent. Preparation for taking over the power in Poland vs. babble and grabble?

The solution for bringing mining industry back on its feet was explained by Grzegorz Tobiszowski, who was appointed by PiS “soon-to-be-prime-minister” Beata Szydło to lead the team of experts preparing the both long and short term strategies. Despite the PO’s fears of EU Commission intervention (unlawful State aid), Tobiszowski considers to use financial “by-pass” to stabilize condition in KW, KHW and JSW. Tobiszowski’s team consists i.a. of labor unions leaders, which shouldn’t make us feel optimistic, because it suggests that this “by-pass” might be too large and will last too long. At the moment Tobiszowski mentioned about possible transfer of 1.5 – 2 billion PLN in November/December for the expenses in the beginning of 2016.

In long-term scope, PiS plans to merge mining industry with power producers (as long as it won’t harm them too much) and modernize coal-powered energy blocks (increased efficiency will cause decrease in GHG emissions). In general, Polish power production would still be based on coal, but PiS does not want to marginalize the share of natural gas in the fuels mix (also the shale gas, which according to Prawo i Sprawiedliwość is not a lost cause). PiS thinks also about continuation of Polish nuclear energy program, but the party has no doubts that it will require many years of investments and 4 years of their reign will not be enough (which means that most probably there won’t be any serious investments in this field).

Other important changes proposed by PiS are: verification of the taxation system on coal producers (too high in the today’s market conditions), quality of produced coal adjusted to the needs of consumers other than energy sector (mainly heat&power plants, but also retail customers) and a battle with Russian coal import to Poland (utterly pointless, as we proved in our article few weeks ago).

Also supervision over the mining companies and energy groups will be moved to an entirely new body in the future government. Paweł Szałamacha, who might be a new head of (connected) Ministry of Economy and Treasury in Beata Szydło’s Cabinet said that KW, KHW and JSW, as well as PGE, Energa, Enea and Tauron will not be in his custody and that responsibility for their well-being will be transferred to Ministry of Energy (with Piotr Naimski as a head of this department).

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