Czech coalminer Sokolovska to cut 1,000 jobs as carbon costs rise: CTK

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech lignite miner Sokolovska Uhelna will cut 1,000 jobs over the next two years as the rising price of CO2 emission permits makes coal mining drastically less attractive, CTK news agency reported on Friday.

Sokolovska is the smallest among the three lignite producers in the Czech Republic, producing 6.8 million tonnes in 2018, some of which it supplies to its own power plants. These must buy carbon emission allowances to operate.

The Czech Republic, an EU member, is seeking to all but end coal usage in electricity generation by around 2040 as part of EU commitments to tackle climate change.

Sokolovska will lay off 700 workers in 2020 and another 300 in 2021, from a current workforce of about 3,000, CTK said, citing the miner’s owner Frantisek Stepanek.

A company representative was not immediately available to comment.

Sokolovska’s mines are located in the western Karlovy Vary region on the German border. It also operates the ageing Tisova and Vresova power plants and supplies coal for municipal heating stations.

The country’s main electricity producer, CEZ, plans to cut its installed capacity in coal-fired power plants to 3.2 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from 6.2 GW last year, when coal-fired plants delivered 44% of CEZ’s power output.

Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by James Drummond