Coal Import from Russian has not Stopped
For the first time over a long period, the blocking of anthracite coal shipments from the occupied territory has put the issue of dependence on this fuel type at the top of the agenda.
Since the beginning of the blockade, heat generation reduced by almost 40% in the daily power generation balance. This reduction is currently offset by an increase in the nuclear power plant input, but this addresses the issue temporarily because nuclear power units will soon undergo scheduled repair.
The government understands the need for resuming anthracite coal shipments to restore the regular production of power at heat generating plants and combined heat and power generating plants but exaggerates the facts.
More specifically, the Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman said in his interview to Nastoiashcheie Vremia TV Channel that the blockade was not good for Ukraine as Ukrainian companies needed to purchase coal from Russia under such circumstances. "Today, the blockade forces our companies to buy coal from Russia," the politician said.
The Head of the Government is only half-right. Although companies purchase coal from Russia, they have never stopped importing it. According to the customs statistics of the State Fiscal Service, the 2015 imports of black and anthracite coal from Russia indeed dropped by 32% (to USD 771.3 million). But then they started growing, and this trend continues until the present day.
In 2016, the imports were as high as USD 906.3 million). Thus, black and anthracite coal average monthly imports from Russia amounted to USD 66.1 million in 2015 and USD 88.9 million in 2016. January 2017 figures demonstrate an increase by 28.9% to USD 114.6 million on a year over year basis.