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Morawiecki: Poland won't close Turów mine, will negotiate with Czechia

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Czesi skarżą się na Polskę
TVN24Czesi skarżą się na Polskę

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday that he did not expect the lignite mine in Turów to close, adding Warsaw wants to negotiate with the Czech Republic and the EU's top court on the matter.

The Court of Justice of the European Union said last week that Poland must immediately stop mining lignite coal at the Turów mine operated by state-run PGE, handing a win to the Czech government which had sought an order to stop mining there.

"We will start negotiations with the Czech side, but we will also present new arguments to the court," Morawiecki told a media conference.

"The Polish government does not take this into account," Morawiecki said referring to a potential closure of the mine, which supplies lignite to a nearby power plant.

"We can't allow the risk of having power outages in millions of Polish homes and the Polish government will not let that happen" - the prime minister explained.

Morawiecki added that the EU court's ruling is "dangerous" from an energy security point of view, as the Turów power plant generates up to 7% of Poland's electricity. 

Furthermore, he pointed to fact that "on the other side of the border, in the Czech Republic, (...) as well as on the German side, mines and power plants also exist and function, they are doing just fine and doesn't bother anyone".

The Czech Republic filed a lawsuit in February calling for a halt to activities at the mine, located near the Czech and German borders, saying Warsaw had violated EU law by extending mining at Turów until 2026.

Martin Puta, the governor of the Czech Liberec region which borders Poland, said the issue should not be a fight between the neighbours but concerned the environment in which inhabitants of the border region had to live.

But residents of the nearby town of Bogatynia said they were unhappy with the decision.

The town's acting mayor said it was a "social, economic and financial disaster" and other residents said they were worried about job losses and rising unemployment.

"There is no future here any more" one resident told TVN24, adding the decision was "the worst there could be".

PGE said the closure would lead to a shutdown of a power plant serving 3.7 million Poles and would force Poland to import lignite from the Czech Republic or Germany or import power.

Lignite and hard coal still dominate Poland's power mix, although the government is planning a large expansion of renewable energy to meet EU climate targets.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24

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