Coal has not been supplied from occupied territories of Donbas to thermal power plants since the beginning of this month, Head of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER) Dmytro Vovk has said.
"Since the start of this month there have been no supplies from the ATO zone… We have large problems with anthracite, but the situation is not as critical as last year," he said at a meeting of the parliamentary committee for the fuel and energy complex in Kyiv on Tuesday.
Vovk added that it is a problem to cover the needs in anthracite only using imported coal.
"Only 500,000 tonnes out of required 1 million tonnes can be imported," he said.
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He added that one of the possible solutions is increasing electricity generation by nuclear power plants, stepping up the use of pump storage power plants and revoking the rule on the minimum share of operating equipment at thermal power plants.
Vovk expressed alarm with the fact that the Energy and Coal Industry has drawn up a new revised balance of electricity generation for 2016 that implies the reduction of electricity generation by nuclear power plants.
"Recently the ministry drew up a balance where generation by nuclear power plants is reduced from 88 billion kilowatt-hours to 80 billion kilowatt-hours," he said.
DTEK CEO Maksym Tymchenko confirmed the termination of coal supplies from occupied areas of Donbas.
"From June 1 shipments from the ATO zone were totally stopped," he said, adding that this could result in depletion of stocks at warehouses of thermal power plants.
He noted that first coal supplies from South Africa that could be contracted would be in early August. The price of coal is $75 per tonne (taking into account delivery to thermal power plants), and first shipments from Australia could be contracted for early September at $86 per tonne.
"We are trying to get quotas from Russia to bring our resources from coalmines in Rostov region to Luhansk thermal power plant," Tymchenko said.