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Coal-Rich Poland Rushes to Imports as Russian Sanctions Bite

  • Poland is the European Union’s most coal-reliant nation
  • The country is buying coal from Colombia, Australia, S. Africa
A coal powered power plant in Belchatow, Poland.

A coal powered power plant in Belchatow, Poland.

Photographer: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg

Poland, the European Union’s top coal producer, is scrambling to fill a potential deficit of the fuel ahead of winter as a ban on Russian imports is set to hurt households and small heating plants the most.

In an unusual move, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki last week ordered two state companies to purchase 4.5 million tons of coal by the end of October to supply households. That’s about a half of what the country had imported each year from Russia before the war in Ukraine started. Now, Poland is hunting for coal in Colombia, Australia and South Africa.