Severočeské doly from the ČEZ Group will stop mining brown coal by 2038 at the latest instead of the previously planned year 2050. In an interview with ČTK, CEZ CFO Martin Novák said this today. He did not rule out the possibility that mining may end even earlier due to the market situation. Last December, the Coal Commission recommended ending the use of coal in the Czech Republic for electricity and heat production in 2038, and some ministers are in favor of diverting from coal as early as 2033. In May, the government took note of the Coal Commission’s recommendations but did not vote on the date. Environmental organizations were not surprised by today’s announcement of postponing the end of mining.
According to Novák, mining brown coal at a time when it could no longer be used in the Czech Republic is not worthwhile. “It’s extremely unlikely because brown coal can’t be transported economically over long distances. It’s not a world-traded commodity, it’s not black coal. So the ideal way to use brown coal is to burn it ideally at the mining site, that is, in pelvic power plants. “Novak said. “The fact that we have no coal-fired power plants and continue to mine coal is practically impossible,” he added.
In 2015, the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (ČSSD) decided to break the so-called limits of coal mining at the Bílina quarry in the Ústí nad Labem Region, which is operated by Severočeské doly (SD). However, they are not yet mining beyond the originally set limits, SD spokesman Lukáš Kopecký told ČTK today. According to earlier information, Severočeské doly planned to extract almost 120 million tons of coal beyond the original limits. According to data from the Czech Geological Survey, annual coal mining in the Czech Republic has been declining for a long time, falling by tens of percent since the Velvet Revolution.
CEZ’s results announced today for the first half of this year were affected by a provision for SD’s long-term assets of CZK 8.7 billion, reflecting, according to CEZ, lower expected demand for coal and an earlier cessation of coal mining. The net profit of the ČEZ energy group in the first half of this year fell by 89 percent year on year to 1.6 billion crowns. Adjusted for extraordinary effects, such as provisions, CEZ’s net profit fell by 31 percent to CZK 11.3 billion.
“Apart from the date of the earlier expected end of coal mining, the most significant factor that led to the provision is the fact that in the medium term the price of electricity is trading almost at the price of the emission allowance. This means that the accounting picture to date indicates that it will be far a smaller volume of coal was taken by pelvic sources over the next ten years, “said Jan Klaus, CEZ Group’s head of controlling, today. Novák stated that the value of SD’s assets before the provision was approximately 13 to 14 billion crowns. “This will lead to a relatively large decline in the value of Severočeské doly,” he added.
In the update of its strategy, ČEZ announced this year that it will continue to reduce coal and will stop burning it in heating plants by 2030. The company previously stated that it plans to invest 30 to 40 billion crowns in the modernization and transformation of its heating plants into new fuels by 2030. Other energy companies are also preparing changes.
For example, the Energy and Industrial Holding of the entrepreneur Daniel Křetínský announced on Monday that by 2030, it will stop using coal for the production of electricity and heat in all countries where it operates. The exception will be Germany. In the Czech Republic, the diversion from coal will concern the power plant and heating plant in Opatovice nad Labem in the Pardubice region, Plzeňská teplárenská or the company United Energy, which is the operator of the heating plant in Komořany, which produces heat and electricity for Most and Litvínov.
The Sev.en Energy group of the financier Pavel Tykač also plans to invest in modern energy. Its company Severní energetická manages the Czechoslovak Army (ČSA) lignite mining site near Litvínov. Mining is limited by territorial limits, so it will probably end in 2024. Between 2030 and 2035, according to earlier information, Sokolovská uhelná is also expected to end mining.