WARSAW, May 15(Reuters) - Poland's JSW, the European Union's biggest coking coal producer, is looking for partners to help it to finance two projects aimed at boosting output of high-quality coking coal, the company's CEO said on Friday.
JSW, which on Thursday reported that first-quarter losses widened to 198 million zlotys ($55.5 million), plans to increase its focus on coking coal rather than thermal coal, for which it expects lower demand.
Investment, however, is hindered by its difficult financial situation and JSW requires outside support to boost output at its Budryk and Knurow-Szczyglowice mines in the south of Poland, each project costing about 300 million zlotys.
"We assume that in June we will start talking to partners who would be interested in helping us to accelerate the projects," CEO Edward Szlek told reporters.
He added that Poland's PIR investment vehicle and the state-owned Industrial Development Agency (ARP) could support the ventures.
JSW produced almost 10 million tonnes of coking coal last year and 4 million tonnes of hard coal. ($1 = 3.5650 zlotys)
Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by David Goodman