EU seeks alternative sources of coal before Russian coal embargo comes into effect: report

The European Union could probably replace Russian coal supplies with other major coal producers like the United States, Australia, Colombia and South Africa, Anadolu Agency reported. The European Union will make the decision to switch to other coal producers before the Russian coal import ban deadline in August. The reduction in Russia’s gas supplies before the coal embargo led the EU to seek alternative coal suppliers, with Russia being its largest coal supplier.

Marco Giuli, associate policy analyst at the European Policy Center (EPC), said Anadolu Agency that the EU will have to import coal from other major suppliers such as the United States, Australia, Colombia and South Africa, with Russia accounting for around 50% of EU imports in 2020, according to the Anadolu Agency report. Giuli added that the use of coal for power generation is expected to lead to an increase in “European emissions in the short term”. Guili pointed out that the temporary reactivation of coal capacity could be monitored by the EU emissions trading system. According to Eurostat data, Russia exported 55.6% of EU hard coal imports in 2020.

EU embargo on Russian coal imports to come into force in August

Giuli’s statement comes ahead of the European Union’s ban on Russian coal imports and will come into effect from mid-August as part of the fifth sanctions package imposed on Ukraine. The reduction in Russian gas supplies before the coal embargo led the EU to explore other options to replace coal imports from Russia, according to the report. Russian energy company Gazprom announced on Wednesday (June 15) that it would cut gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline as technical equipment was sent to German company Siemens for maintenance. Gazprom said they could only supply 67 million cubic meters of gas through the pipeline, which marked a 60% reduction in gas supplies.

Germany and Austria will use coal-fired power plants to reduce gas consumption

After Gazprom cut gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria announced plans to use coal-fired power plants to reduce gas consumption and store gas in storage facilities. Russian energy giant Gazprom previously cut natural gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. Notably, EU countries imposed sanctions on Russia for its military invasion of Ukraine and called for reducing dependence on Russian energy. Earlier this month, the EU adopted the sixth set of sanctions against Russia, which includes a ban on the import of Russian crude oil and petroleum products transported by sea.

Image: AP

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