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Interview: Janusz Olszowski, President, Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Janusz discusses Poland's future coal strategy

Interview: Janusz Olszowski, President, Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GIPH)

1. In your view, what is the biggest challenge for the Polish coal industry in 2015?

The biggest challenge is now organizational restructuring and improvement of Kompania Węglowa SA - the biggest coal company in Europe - so that the restructured company can regain profitability and once again be competitive in the international market.

2. Union strikes have increased greatly in recent months in protest against the proposed restructuring of coal companies in Poland. How have these strikes affected coal production in Poland?

With the mines and power plants well stocked, the impact of strikes on the supply of coal was negligible. It should be noted that the suspension of mining took place only in the mines of JSW and lasted about 10 working days.

3. It is no secret that the Polish coal industry is facing many difficulties at the moment. In your opinion, what would the best first step to improve the situation for Polish coal miners?

Polish coal producers must above all increase the productivity and efficiency of coal production. The first step must consist of the organizational separation of mines with the greatest loss-making mines promising from profitable business in the future. The next step should consist of slowly reducing production in coal mines that have the highest costs until the complete depletion of their reserves. Alongside this, coal production should be increased to the maximum limit in the mines where there is the highest profitability.

4. Your presentation at the 3rd Coaltrans Poland will focus on the country’s energy strategy to 2050. Will this strategy be good news or bad news for the Polish coal industry?

The presented strategy is likely to be good news for the Polish coal industry as it assumes the use of indigenous coal in power generation and steel industry for many years to come.

5. You have served on the board of the Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GIPH) for nearly 20 years. In your view, who has been the most influential person in bringing real change to Poland’s coal industry during this time?

I think the most influential people in the coal industry  were the ones who chaired the Council of the Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce. They were the presidents of large mining companies, such as Leszek Jarno and Jaroslaw Zagórowski, as well as the ministers who were responsible for the restructuring of the Polish mining industry. I mean here professors Jan Szlązak, Marian Turek and Andrzej Karbownik - present Rector of the Silesian University of Technology.

This content is provided by Coaltrans Conferences for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.

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