PRESIDENT OF EURACOAL
Mr. Paweł SMOLEŃ is Vice President of the Management Board for Operations at the Polish electricity utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE). He graduated in engineering from Warsaw University before completing postgraduate studies in marketing and market analysis at the Warsaw School of Economics. He is a chartered accountant in Poland (KIBR) and the UK (ACCA), and worked as a partner at Arthur Andersen with energy-sector responsibilities from 1992 to 2001. Until recently, he worked in Germany as a member of the management board at Vattenfall Group, responsible for production assets, having held several other senior positions with responsibilities in Central Europe, including Vice President of VTS A/S – a coal trading company in Copenhagen. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Smoleń was President of the Polish Energy Sector’s Private Employers Association. He is currently Vice President of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers (PKPP Lewiatan) and is a board member of the Confederation of Polish Lignite Producers (PPWB – Porozumienie Producetów Węgla Brunatnego)
VICE-PRESIDENTS OF EURACOAL
Mr. Piotr RYKALA is Vice Chairman of Kompania Węglowa SA, Poland’s largest hard coal producer, where he has responsibility for human resources. A graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, he began his career at the large Borynia coal mine, working there from 1981 to 1999. From 1999 to 2003, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board at Rybnik Coal Company. In 2003, he was appointed a board director and then Vice Chairman of Kompania Węglowa SA. From 2003 to 2005, he was President of the Polish Hard Coal Mining Employers’ Association (ZPGWK – Związek Pracodawców Górnictwa Węgla Kamiennego). He was re-elected as President of the Association in 2012.
Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef WODOPIA was born in 1957 in Heidelberg, Germany. A qualified economist, he first held various posts in the fields of energy and science and then became Professor at the University of Bochum in Germany. At the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE), Prof. Wodopia headed the Mining and Energy Industries Department. In mid-2005, he became Managing Director of Gesamtverband Steinkohle (German Hard Coal Association) where he is a Member of the Board.
Mr. Nigel YAXLEY is Managing Director at CoalImp, the Association of UK Coal Importers. He is also Head of Development (Central and Eastern Europe) at RecyCoal Ltd., a partner at Energy Edge Ltd. and a private consultant. Mr. Yaxley joined the then nationalised UK coal industry in 1977 after graduating in physics from Cambridge University. On the industry’s privatisation in 1995, he joined UK Coal plc where he became Marketing Director. From 2005 to 2007, he was President of EURACOAL and has chaired the Association’s Market Committee. Mr. Yaxley has a broad experience of all aspects of the coal industry and has acted as an expert witness on a number of occasions on matters related to coal pricing and coal contracts.