Ostrava, North Moravia, April 24 (CTK) – OKD company mines some 6 million tonnes of coal annually in the Karvina area but the amount will gradually decrease to 4 million and then to 2 million tonnes, OKD supervisory board chairman Michal Kuca said today.
Kuca spoke at the start of a visit of Prime Minister Andrej Babis and government members in the company’s seat.
Reduction of the coal mining activity will be paid from reserves which the company is creating. The amount of money needed for the reduction is estimated at Kc4.9bn with the use of prices valid at the beginning of 2017.
OKD made over a Kc3bn profit last year, the figure is unaudited thus far.
“We mine around 6 million tonnes and we will be gradually reducing the amount to 4 million tonnes. We will stay at this level for a while and in the final stage, we should drop somewhere to 2 or 2.5 million tonnes where we should stay,” Kuca said.
Mine CSM, the company’s last coal mine to be closed, should end mining in 2023.
The number of employees will be falling through natural departures, they are faster than the number of new employees that the company will hire so large layoffs are not planned.
OKD is now in order, it operates, has a new management and the project has been successful, including the restructuring of Paskov mine, Babis said. OKD ended mining in Paskov last year due to financial reasons.
“OKD was near bankruptcy in 2016. It was my personal challenge,” Babis said, he appreciated the fact that the firm is now working and is stabilised. “They are now looking for 280 new employees,” he added.
OKD has had a hard time finding new employees since the end of mining in Paskov. In some professions, it offers recruitment incentives worth up to Kc60,000.
OKD has a key importance for the region, the same as ArcelorMittal Ostrava steel maker whose sale ArcelorMittal steel group now considers, Babis remarked.
ArcelorMittal’s future is very important now. The owner took Kc40bn in dividends from the company which has then be sold for just around Kc300m, he said.
The state has become OKD’s owner again after years this month. Its shares were taken over by representatives of state-owned company Prisko, the state has paid almost Kc80m for them.
Reorganisation of the company, which became insolvent in 2016, has thus been completed. OKD now employs around 9,500 together with supplier companies.