Poland invites steel minister, offers its coal

Displaying keen interest in India's investment in its coal mines, Poland has invited Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma for a visit to Warsaw. The eastern European nation has 17 billion tonnes of coal reserves, of which 56 per cent is thermal coal, while the rest consists of coking coal – a key ingredient required for making steel

State-owned SAIL, whose coking coal requirement at present is 13 million tonnes, has displayed interest in investing in coking coal mines situated in Poland and according to sources privy to the development, a delegation of the Maharatna company is also likely to accompany the minister to that country. Poland's ambassador to India, Piotr Klodkowski, met Verma and extended the invitation on behalf of the Polish Government to the minister for the visit, which according to sources is likely to take place soon.

SAIL imports around 10 million tonnes out of its total 13 million tonnes requirement of coking coal. By 2025, its requirement is likely to go up to 39 million tonnes per annum and therefore seeking reserves in Poland could prove crucial for India in the long run, sources said. They further added that SAIL would also be keen to seek a stake in coking coal reserves in Poland.

Poland on its part is quite keen to see participation from Indian companies in its mineral reserves as it views New Delhi as a key partner in the field of mining. Apart from coal reserves, the country also has around 15 billion tonnes of lignite reserves and other key minerals found there include lead, copper and zinc. Poland is the world's ninth largest producer of coal and it is the second largest producer within the European Union (EU) after Germany. Till 2011, the Eastern European nation accounted for 40 per cent of Europe's total production and had 1.2 per cent share in the global coal output.

Currently, the coal production in Poland is in the range of around 80 million tonnes, though sources pointed out that during the formative years of that country's Communist era, it was around 190 million tonnes. Yet the fact that Poland still accounts for a considerable portion of Europe's total output of coal, makes it a significant country to partner with.

Poland's Jastrzebska Spotka Weglowa (JSW) is the largest coking coal producing company in the EU and its mines contain approximately 0.56 billion tonnes of recoverable reserves of coal. Kompania Weglowa and Katowicki Holding Weglowy are the other two major coal mining companies of Poland and sources within the Steel Ministry said that SAIL may talk to these entities for possible cooperation. SAIL has been quite keen to lock coking coal assets abroad for itself and its Chairman C S Verma recently stated that around four to five locations are on the company's radar.

The state-owned Maharatna company is also the majority stake holder in the consortium, International Coal Ventures Ltd ICVL, (which consists of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, Coal India Ltd, NTPC and NMDC apart from SAIL), and has also been involved in seeking coking coal assets for it in countries like the US, Mozambique and Australia.

  Similar Posts

Share it