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Ukraine May Declare Energy Emergency Over Coal Shortage

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Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.com

Ukraine’s government is considering declaring a state of emergency in the energy sector due to severe shortage of coal deliveries from the conflict-torn Donbas region, which produces a large part of the coal that Ukraine’s power-generating plants consume, Ukraine’s Unian agency reported on Monday.

“The issue of the introduction of a state of emergency in the Ukrainian energy sector will be on the agenda of the energy staff meeting. We cannot allow the drop in the strategic coal reserves,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman told reporters, as quoted by Ukrainian media.

On January 25, a railroad that was being used for coal transportation from the Donbas region was damaged by “unauthorized persons”, and according to Interfax-Ukraine, Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Industry Minister Ihor Nasalyk had said that blocking of the Luhansk-Popasna railway section creates risks for the Ukrainian energy security.

According to Ukranian news outlet UAWire, the thermal power plants in Ukraine would not be able to function for quite some time without anthracite coal from Donbas. Out of the total 24 million tons of coal that Ukrainian thermal power plants use each year, 9 million tons are anthracite coal – which is produced only in Donbas.

According to Sputnik, Ukraine’s minister Nasalyk said that coal for the power plants may be depleted within 45 days.

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