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Spain’s coal industry moves toward subsidy-free future

World Coal,

Spanish Government ministry officials have reached a preliminary agreement with representatives of the country’s coal industry, regarding the country’s plan for the coal industry through to 2018. The plan will see the industry make the transition away from subsidy-supported mines from 2019.

As part of the agreement, coal miners in Spain will be guaranteed that domestic coal will be used to produce 7.5% of the country’s power. This is according to a note posted by the union General de Trabajadores (UGT) – one of the unions involved in the agreement.

In 2013, the UGT said that a total of 20.5 TWh will be generated by coal, and a further 22.2 TWh in 2014. From that point onward, coal companies and utilities will be responsible for establishing their own contracts.

Output of coal will be decreased from a total volume of 6.6 million tpa this year, to 5.9 million tpa for 2018. Around 8% of the almost 5000 strong workforce will lose their jobs during the period.

The Spanish Government will reduce the amount of subsidy deep-mined coal receives from a current €30/t to €5/t by 2018.

Opencast coal will be subsidised at €1/t during 2013, which will be reduced to €0.5/t from 2014, the UGT union said.

The agreement, known as the “Framework Plan for Coal Mines and Mining Communities 2013-2018”, will be passed to a government interministerial group before it is submitted for approval.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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