Uncontrolled OKD’s bankruptcy is a ticking time bomb
Uncontrolled bankruptcy is the worst possible solution for the current situation at OKD. Aside from the economic and social impacts it could also lead to an ecological catastrophe in the Moravia-Silesia region. In case of uncontrolled bankruptcy, there is the threat that OKD won’t have enough financial resources on the first day of insolvency proceedings. There is also the threat that the insolvency trustee won’t have enough time to familiarize him/herself with the technically demanding details of mining operations.
Closing a mine is a difficult process that requires a professional approach and detailed preparations. “Potential closure of a mine requires very careful planning. It’s crucial to ventilate and degas the mine continuously. Then the water needs to be continuously pumped out of the mine. Spontaneous underground coal fires must be taken into account that occur frequently and that must be contained and exhausted with nitrogen. Haulage and ventilation shafts also need to be checked and maintained daily,” said Dale Raymond Ekmark, Chairman and CEO of OKD, a.s.
OKD also operates over 400 kilometres of underground gate roads that need to be regularly cared for. “Without constant maintenance it is impossible to ever open the mine again,” warns Ekmark. The costs for resuming production in case of unprofessional phase – out would be enormous.
In addition to the negative impact on the environment, there is also the threat of enormous social impacts on more than thirteen thousand employees and their families. “If the voice of our thirteen thousand employees and their families have any weight, then we are asking the government to consider the plan that OKD has presented and is also supported by AHG. It might not be the most politically popular plan, but in the long-term, it is the safest and most comprehensive solution,” concluded Ekmark.