The Polish Ministry of Energy is preparing for three scenarios predicting the development of the country’s mining industry in 2016 to 2030: optimistic, realistic and pessimistic. The new strategy is to enter into force in May of this year. This document is also a sign that Poland is still planning to base its energy policy on coal. Apart from this, it shows that the government has backed away from its intention to build nuclear power plants.

The optimistic scenario assumes that demand for coal may rise to up to 86.1 million tonnes (about 20 per cent). The condition for realising this scenario is to build a 1000 MW coal-fired power plant in Ostrołęka and to construct at least two installations for coal gasification. In a realistic scenario, demand for coal will be maintained at today’s level and one installation for above-ground gasification of already excavated coal using about 1 million tonnes of coal per year is to be built in 2020 (most likely in Kędzierzyn).

If the pessimistic scenario takes place, the demand for coal will decrease to 56.5 million tonnes. The reasons for this phenomenon may be lower permitted emissions of gas from boilers and the development of alternative technologies for producing electricity. This option assumes that there will be no significant government intervention in the energy sector.

Moreover, the Polish government is planning to establish an Upper Silesian Division of Energy Coal (Górnośląska Dywizja Węgla Energetycznego). It is planned that the Division will consist of the associated Polish Mining Group (Polska Grupa Górnicza) and Katowice Coal Holding (Katowicki Holding Węglowy) together with Węglokoks Kraj (which owns the well-known Bobrek coal mine). The plan should be ready this year before the end of June. Vertical integration of mining and energy based on three coal-mining regions: Upper Silesia, Lesser Poland (Tauron Mining and energy coal from JSW) and Eastern Poland (Bogdanka coal mine) will be also analysed. The government document does not contain any information about employment in the mining sector or the number of coal mines in the future.