About us

Editorial questions about KHW SA (October 2014)

1.Could you give me a brief overview of KHW’s operations?

On the site http://www.khw.pl/english/company.html

2.Roughly how many people work for KHW? 

It is about 17 thousand people  (Juin 2016 - 13,5 thousand)

3. What issues have been affecting you and your industry as a whole?

World coal prices – the benchmark is ARA price

Cost of transport in Poland

Income of coal from USA and Russia to European markets including Polish

Subsidization of renewable energy in Poland and neighboring countries –import of energy from Germany and Sweden.

Pressure for replacement coal with gas for houses heating. Coal is cheapest energy carrier even if it is used in form of high quality coal fuels that need higher level of processing during production (look at point 7)

Rising energy prices which in Poland is produced by coal burning, charges for CO2 emission

4. Is the workforce largely local? What training and development systems are in place? 

At first we employ living in area of 20-30 km. Furthest up to 70 km

Because workers in order to make their job have to get permission for it (it is about underground working, also specific professional requirements and safety issues). At every mine there are departments of  professional adaptation and training that supervise these questions and preparing directions of training for upgrading professional qualifications by the workers.

The company owns its own training subsidiary.

There also operates program of multi-professional – getting additional qualifications by the workers that enable them to do additional tasks except their main work ( miner gets qualifications of electrician, locksmith etc.). It enables to use workers more flexible). Traditionally for years the company supports gaining education by the crew. Some of the managers are people that started on worker’s positions and got higher education during the work.    

5. Do you work regularly with long term clients? How do you manage those relationships?  

Two basic groups of consumers are:

-power industry and industrial heat and power plants (their buy coal dust)

-consumers of coal pieces – individual heating , small local heat plants

First group consists of several large consumers with direct contact. There are regular meeting in their headquarters and in our office where there are monitoring issues related to sales (potential problems  because of sales scale etc.).

The second group is reached by cooperating authorized coal sellers - stocks (few hundred) in all Poland.

Activity supporting cooperation includes direct contact, visits in stocks, visits in our headquarters and in the mines, trainings, dedicated web and information service for sellers.

Both issues are operated by trade and market department of the Company.

Individual sales directly from mines to final consumers are marginal.

Export is operated by “Węglokoks” company

6. Do you have a large supply chain or do you try to keep as much in-house as possible? 

We cooperate with almost two thousand companies supplying products and services. In case of products it is barrier to get separate permissions for underground working. It caused liquidation of workshops at the mines where used to be made many simple tools.

In mining services we try to do most with our own crew. We plan to join dispersed works, create separated brigades, that will service these tasks on our mines.

7. Have you completed any major/flagship projects or brought any new products to market recently? Are there any on the horizon? 

Several years ago we launched qualified coal fuels for small boilers (local heat plants, heating of houses). They represent one of elements  of adjusting strategy of production to market needs, including these what are linked with low emission of pollutants that are produced during combustion. It is difficult to say about new products, although in our case there is methane which is extracted together with coal and used for our needs. It is new for us also stone crushing that is extracted  by necessity with coal. After obtaining of certificates we started to sell stone for road construction material.

 8. What are KHW’s plans for the future? 

Adjusting production for market needs – coal mining must plan in few years period because of type of works. Sometimes it is difficult to change plans. Keeping competition of sales on polish market against coal extracted opencast or Russian coal. Acquiring maximal technically available quantity of coal in pieces that is marketable. At this moment we are on planning stage so we will not give detailed information.

9. Is there anything else you would like to mention at this stage?

We are aware that coal role as an energy carrier is gradual decreasing. However in polish conditions for few  decades it will be surely used. We try to use polish coal not imported and coal from our mines, because at production level of 10 million tons per year we have within our mining area recognized seams that for few decades may supply substantial  part of national demand