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Poland moves to block coal imports from Russia

By District Energy posted 03-30-2022 20:48


Washington Post


Poland’s government decided Tuesday to block imports of coal from Russia, part of an overarching strategy to reduce energy dependence on Russia that gained new urgency after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Poland will impose financial penalties on any private entities importing Russian coal into Poland, with Polish customs officials carrying out checks, government spokesman Piotr Mueller said as he announced the new policy. He added that Poland could no longer wait for the whole 27-nation European Union to embrace the policy.

Poland, which was under Moscow’s influence during the communist era, has worked in recent years to reduce its use of Russian energy sources, and will soon no longer have to rely on Russian gas.

It is more dependent on Russian oil, however. And while Poland produces much of its own coal, it also relies on imports. Russian coal makes up 13% of the fuel used each year, according to Piotr Lewandowski, the president of the Institute for Structural Research in Warsaw.

Half of that imported Russian coal is used to generate heat in individual homes, while the rest is used for district heating or industry, he said.

“That’s why it’s much easier to ban coal in the final week of March than in October,” Lewandowski said. “The question now is how do you prepare for the next heating season?”

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