Polish Briefing 14 December, 2018 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: Hydrogen – an afterlife of Polish coal mines?

What goes on in Poland on the 14th of December.

Tobiszowski: I can imagine that JSW will be a center of clean technologies

On the occasion of the COP24 Summit in Katowice, Deputy Minister of Energy Grzegorz Tobiszowski gave an interview to, in which he referred to ideas for the future of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa (JSW) and the role of clean coal technologies in climate policy.

Tobiszowski stressed that coking coal was no coincidence on the list of strategic commodities of the European Commission: – I am glad that Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa presented what coking coal is because coke must be distinguished from energy coal – they have two different roles to play. If we want to build offshore wind farms, we need a lot of steel, because this strategic investment will be huge, reaching 10 GW. We also know that we will have to extend the bridges and gas pipelines. You need steel for all this, not only in Poland, and you will need coking coal for that. It will be mined, the question is where – said the deputy minister of energy.

Tobiszowski added that we should use the coal in Poland as it can be extracted safely and effectively: – It will have a significant impact on economic growth and the construction of renewable energy sources projects. This also fits in with the philosophy of a circular economy – we subdue methane, which is a dangerous gas in mines, and we use it industrially; likewise slag and various types of waste – he said.

Ozon: We want hydrogen to have an increasing share in JSW’s profits

– JSW understands the necessity of transformation. We looked at our by-products differently and saw great value in them, especially in coke oven gas and tar – said the president of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, Daniel Ozon during a conversation with journalists during the COP24 climate summit in Katowice.

– Coke gas is 55 percent hydrogen, and we want with available technologies offered mainly by Asian business partners, clean this coke gas, obtain hydrogen so that it is the source of the cleanest drive, because when burning it only steam appears – said Ozon. He added that JSW wants hydrogen to fuel cars and buses: – The Silesian Metropolis is the perfect place to start the Polska Wodorowa (Hydrogen Poland) initiative. At COP24 we rented a bus from the Polish manufacturer Ursus, we substituted it in front of the headquarters of JSW Innowacje, every day for a week it carries the participants of the summit. This technology will also propel ships in the future – said the president of JSW.

According to the calculations carried out so far, JSW could produce enough hydrogen to power about 800 buses that would cover a distance of about 200 kilometers around the Metropolis each day. – They have a huge advantage – they have a range of around 600 kilometers, much larger than battery buses. As JSW, we want to join this trend and the hydrogen production line – said Ozon.

In addition, JSW wonders what you can do with tar: – It is a very valuable raw material, from which we can produce anodes for batteries, graphene and carbon fiber, for which demand is growing every year, both in the automotive industry and in the aviation industry. Thanks to the cooperation with the German Fraunhofer Institute, we have established contacts with such producers as Volkswagen or Airbus, which in the coming decades will need huge amounts of carbon fibers – said the President of JSW.