This was at the time (bygone days) when not all lignite-fired power plants in Poland had the same owner as the mine supplying them with coal. This situation was the cause of many disputes between the parties.
In the middle of the year, the mine terminated the contract for coal supply with our Client, a power plant, effective at the end of the year. For six months the parties were negotiating in order to conclude a new contract, without success. And so the end of the year came – the day before New Year’s Eve. A meeting of last resort was scheduled for Saturday, 30 December… If the parties had not reached agreement and signed a contract, in the morning on 31 December the power plant would have had to extinguish its boilers and reduce the power (lignite is not stored because of its physical and chemical properties and it should be burned shortly after it is delivered to the power plant, so the reserves are sufficient for ten or so hours only).
The meeting was to take place early in the morning (at 9.00 a.m.) in a beautiful forest, where the mine had its facility for vacationers. According to the plan, the meeting was to take no more than a few hours in order not to ruin the day on Saturday. Lawyers were to wait at the door of the room, just in case they were needed (I was on my way to Poznan to celebrate the New Year and I arrived at the meeting en route to the party). The plan was, as it turned out, very optimistic. After half an hour it turned out that participation of lawyers in the meeting is necessary. And rather for longer. With a short break for lunch, heated discussions, stepping out of the meeting for internal deliberations, phone calls to the owners, printing of successive versions of contracts – the negotiations were held until 7.00 a.m. the next day, i.e. 31 December. But they were successful!
The outcome of the negotiations was that the coal supply was not interrupted, electricity was still produced, the electric current was still flowing on New Year’s Eve and so there was a party and a lot of fun. But not for everyone… After these intensive negotiations my New Year’s Eve ended at 9 p.m. and I started the New Year sleeping.