In Poland, People Are Lining Up For Days To Stock Up On Coal For The Winter
Dozens of cars and trucks are lining up at the Lubelski Wegiel Bogdanka coal mine in Poland, many of them waiting for days and nights, to stock up on heating fuel ahead of winter.
3.8 million households in Poland use coal for heating. These households, like many of Europe’s, are facing shortages and price hikes, following the country’s ban on Russian coal in April after Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February.
The Central European country produces more than 50 million tons of coal from its own mines yearly, and typically sells mostly to powerplants. Its households generally rely on imported coal, much of it from Russia, because of the lower prices and because the quality is more suitable for home use.
Last year, 8 million of the 12 million tons imported from Russia were used by households and small heating plants.
Unlike the European Union’s Russian coal embargo which took effect in August, Poland’s ban went into immediate effect, resulting in shortages.
Back in July, Poland ordered two state-controlled companies to buy 4.5 million tons of the fuel from other, faraway producers in South Africa, Indonesia, and Colombia to supply households. In August, the government introduced a subsidy scheme that allows each household to apply for one-time assistance worth 3,000 zlotys (US$634) to help pay for coal after it failed to cap retail prices.
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