Ukraine is facing a potentially disastrous shortage of coal, as the Union of Mineworkers (UOM) warn that the country’s coal reserves will run out in November.
Ukrainian coal-fired power plants could therefore be left scrabbling for the coal needed to keep the lights on.
Chairman of the UOM, Mykhailo Volynets, said: “Free Miners Union today warns people that we are not ready for the winter and that our reserves of coal will run out in November”.
According to earlier media reports, Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy sent a message to local energy saving companies about possible temporary electricity blackouts due to capacity shortage in the national grid, just as it was in the 1990s.
According to RiaNovosti, Volynets also added that currently 1.7 t of coal is stored in Ukrainian thermal power plants, which is not enough to meet requirements, particularly in light of the interruptions to coal mining output due to the military operation in the southeast of Ukraine.
Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian separatists has continued for months, and has increasingly enveloped the ex-Soviet country’s eastern industrial sector. As death tolls rise, coal mines in the region have also been forced to close due to fighting.
The director of the Environmental Investment agency, Alexei Habatyuk, believes that mazut can not be an effective alternative fuel for the Ukrainian thermal power plants, as its stocks in warehouses are negligible.
According to Habatyuk, it generally impractical to use mazut (a type of low quality fuel oil used throughout the former Soviet Union) for power generation, its purchase for this purpose is 5 times more expensive than the price of coal.
Earlier, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan stated that the country is actively looking for coal distributers.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/03092014/ukraine-coal-reserves-running-low-1278/