Poland’s prime minister said on Monday that Warsaw would keep the massive Turow brown coal mine open despite an order issued last week by Europe’s top court to suspend extraction there.
“We do not foresee the closure of the mine and we will not allow it, because this could put Poland’s energy security at risk,” Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters.
The premier also said Poland would seek talks with neighbouring Czech Republic, which filed the complaint against the mine located near its border, and “present new arguments to the Court of Justice” in connection with its ruling.
The premier said Poland would seek talks with neighbouring Czech Republic, which filed the complaint against the mine located near its border, and “present new arguments to the Court of Justice” in connection with its ruling
On Friday, the Court of Justice of the European Union ordered Poland to suspend the extraction of lignite – a low-quality brown coal – at an open-cast mine that provides around seven per cent of the country’s electricity.
The order against the Turow mine comes after a complaint from the Czech Republic, which argued that the mining created a cross-border environmental hazard and breached EU law. The Luxembourg-based court ruled in favour of a Czech request to suspend mining pending a final ruling.
In operation since 1904, the mine supplies coal mainly to a local power station. Poland’s largest energy group PGE, which owns both the mine and the plant, is planning to extract coal at Turow until 2044.
The court ruling said that Polish legislation allowing an open-cast mining project to be extended without an environmental impact assessment could break EU law.
And the court deemed it “sufficiently likely” that continuing to exploit Turow would “have negative effects on the level of groundwater in Czech territory”.
The court also said Poland had failed to prove its claim that shutting the mine would force the closure of the power station and lead to local power outages.
Poland relies on coal to meet up to 80 per cent of its energy needs, but has vowed to develop green energy sources and to shut its last mine by 2049, in line with targets for emissions cuts set by the European Union.
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