The Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GIPH) sent a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. It requests the Government of the Republic of Poland to take swift and decisive measures to prevent the implementation of certain provisions of the proposed regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector and to amend Regulation (EU) 2019/942, which is On December 15, 2021, the draft was submitted by the European Commission to the European Parliament, national parliaments and the EU Council.
- According to the Chamber, the implementation of the provisions in the present form will trigger a serious socio-economic crisis caused by the need to prematurely close most of the underground coal mines operating in Poland.
- The draft in question envisages the introduction of a ban on discharging methane from methane drainage stations into the atmosphere and its combustion from January 1, 2025 as well as through ventilation shafts from January 1, 2027
- Admittedly, the latter ban does not apply to coking coal, however, within 3 years from the date of entry into force of the regulation, the requirements are also to be introduced for this part of the mining industry.
As indicated by the Mining Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 21 mines are currently mined in Poland, 16 of which are methane mines, none of which meets the requirements of the project. It should be emphasized that the mining of coal in such mines is possible only and exclusively when the permissible concentrations of this gas are maintained in the mine workings. This can be achieved by discharging methane through ventilation shafts or pipelines included in the methane drainage systems. In 2020, 63 percent. the methane that was released in the mines was removed by ventilation, the rest was captured by pipelines, and only 23 percent. was used up in boilers or gas engines, the Chamber emphasizes in a letter to the Prime Minister. It also indicates “it should be noted that it is technically impossible to use 100% of the methane captured by methane drainage, therefore some of it must be incinerated or discharged
into the atmosphere, and the introduction of new ways of its management requires an appropriate time (much longer than the adopted year 2025) and huge investments, for which there is no
in the period of transformation of financing sources. Moreover, at present there are no implemented technologies enabling the economic use of low-concentration methane in ventilation shafts. The project in question is also controversial in relation to closed and abandoned underground mines. The regulations in this area are based on unreliable data concerning e.g. the amount of methane emissions from such units. From the point of view of public policy, the costs of dealing with methane from such mines are unknown and may become a heavy economic burden for countries such as Poland. ” Additionally, the Chamber points out that the discussed project will limit the competitiveness of EU mining entrepreneurs, because they will be treated worse than those from outside this area, who are only encouraged to implement appropriate standards, and the energy industry in such countries as Poland will be based solely on imported coal, which for obvious reasons, it will seriously reduce energy security. – In the opinion of the Chamber, the real purpose of this legal act is not to reduce methane emissions, but to accelerate the liquidation of Polish hard coal mines. Considering the above, the Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce brings as at the outset – emphasizes GIPH. See also: Mining ties to the government: either contract execution or sharp protests