Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa changes the image of coking coal among European decision-makers At the Company’s initiative, a conference promoting coking coal as a strategic raw material was held in Brussels in the historic building of Bibliothèque Solvay. This is yet another action taken by Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa intended to create a positive image of this raw material in the European Union.
Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa has taken numerous actions to strengthen the position of coking coal and emphasize its importance in the global economy. The European Commission has reintroduced coking coal in the list of 27 Critical Raw Materials for the EU, meaning that it is of eminent significance to the Community and hard to replace.
Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa (Poland) is the largest producer of coking coal in the European Union and a leading producer of coke – the main component used to produce steel. - We are taking decisive action to show what is unique about our Company. We want to point to the fact that coking coal is an indispensable ingredient to produce steel without which it would be hard to imagine the development of an innovative economy and the construction of modern infrastructure - stated Daniel Ozon, President of the Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa Management Board and added: - We have decided to hold a conference in Brussels because it is the place where the key decisions for the steel industry are made.
The panelists participating in the conference noted numerous times that there were no alternative and economically-viable technologies for smelting steel without using coking coal. On the other hand, the steel industry has an enormous impact on the economy’s key segments such as the automotive, railway, shipbuilding, construction, fuel and household appliance industries. Steel is indispensable in the development of an innovative low-emission economy.
In 2017 the European Union had to import more than two times more of this raw material (38 million tons) than it was able to produce on its own (17 million tons). The European steel industry depends on coking coal. It accounts for nearly 2% of the European Union’s total production, it employs almost 2.5 million people and the annual value of steelmaking production surpasses EUR 120 billion.
It is also worth noting that by providing the Community with an indispensable raw material for the steel industry, Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa steadfastly introduces innovative technologies thereby becoming an environmentally-minded leader in the global industry producing coking coal and coke. The Company cares about the natural environment by showing the greatest respect to the resources extracted from the earth. - We are leaders in the usage of methane and coke oven gas.At present, 61% of the captured gas is converted into energy. We are assuming that by 2030, we will increase electricity production from methane fivefold – assured Daniel Ozon and added: - We will not stop there, because we are taking intensive actions to implement a technology for separation of hydrogen from coke-oven gas. Purified hydrogen may be used in hydrogen cells for emission-free generation of electricity, heat and cool air, environmentally-friendly public transport, powering electrical devices as well as emergency power supply stations. The European transformation toward low-emission industry in the upcoming years will drive upward the demand for environmentally-friendly products, e.g. electric vehicles and windmills. Thereby the demand for steel will also rise.
The conference consisted of three thematic panels. Participants in the discussion included, among others, Elżbieta Bieńkowska – European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Jerzy Buzek – Chairman of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as well as scientists and representatives of leading Asian and European steel industry entities.
- I am sure that the conference has served its purpose. There is currently no viable alternative to coking coal in steel production. I am happy with the introduction of innovative, environmentally-friendly technologies by Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, especially in view of the upcoming climate summit in Katowice - concluded Sebastian Barkowski, Deputy Permanent Representative of Poland to the EU.
During the one-day conference in the capital of European decision makers, it was repeatedly stated out that it is difficult to talk about the steel industry without coking coal. This is why coking coal produced in the Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa mines is a critical raw material for the EU and the Company covers 30 percent of the demand.