Ukraine signed an agreement to buy 1 million metric tons of coal from South Africa to maintain power output after mining was disrupted from armed conflict with separatist rebels in the country’s east.
The first batch is being loaded in a port, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a government meeting today, without giving more details. Companies are arranging purchases, he said.
Half of Ukraine’s electricity is generated by natural gas and coal. Ukraine wants to reduce dependency on imported natural gas since Russia cut off deliveries on June 16.
Coal output declined since the main coal mining areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions were paralyzed by armed conflict between government forces and separatists. Power distributors warned consumers of possible electricity cuts in peak hours in winter due to fuel shortages.