Czech Republic to extend coal mining amid high demand

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. reverse / rɪˈvɜrs / (v.) – to change a rule, decision, or opinion to the opposite

    The company reversed its 6-day work week policy because people started to resign.

  2. safeguard / ˈseɪfˌgɑrd / (v.) – to protect

    The government placed soldiers around the area to safeguard the UN workers.

  3. state-owned / steɪt oʊnd / (adj.) – owned or controlled by the government

    State-owned services like trains, subways, and some buses are paid by our taxes.

  4. trim / trɪm  / (v.) – to reduce or lessen

    We need to trim the number of attendees if we want to stay within budget.

  5. cutoff / ˈkʌtˌɔf / (n.) – the act of stopping the supply of something

    There will be a cutoff of water supply because of the shortage.


Read the text below.

The Czech Republic has decided to reverse plans to halt mining in a key black coal region to help the country safeguard its power supply amid high demand and the energy crunch prompted by the Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura said that the state-owned OKD company will extend its mining activities in north-eastern Czech Republic until at least the end of next year, with an analysis to be made on a possible further extension until 2025.

The original plans called for mining to be halted there this year, but “demand for black coal is enormous,” Stanjura said.

Some other European Union countries are turning back to coal as a replacement for reduced deliveries of Russian natural gas, threatening climate goals in Europe. Russia has trimmed gas flows to EU countries like Germany, Italy and Austria on top of its gas cutoffs to France, Poland, Bulgaria and others.

OKD’s chief executive, Roman Sikora, said the Czech company was planning to mine 1.3 million metric tons of black coal in 2023.

It will be mostly used for generating power and household heating. Coal-fired power plants generate almost 50% of total Czech electricity output.

The decision came after the European Union agreed to ban Russian coal starting in August over the war in Ukraine and as it works to reduce the bloc’s energy ties to Russia.

The Czech government aims to phase out coal in energy production by 2033 while increasing the country’s reliance on nuclear power.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think mining coal, which is considered harmful, should continue just because the demand is high? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Some other European Union countries are turning back to coal, threatening climate goals in Europe. What do you think should countries prioritize, the environment or people’s needs? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The Czech Republic reversed its plans to stop coal mining and will possibly extend it until 2025. If you were from that country, what would be your reaction to this decision? Discuss.
  • In the event an energy crunch happens in your country, do you think you are personally ready? How do you think an energy crunch would affect your daily life? Discuss.