On 15 June 2016 at 10 a.m., debates “Coal Mines in Ukraine: Invest or Close?” took place in the office of Ukraine Crisis Media Centre.
One of the Government’s priority tasks in the energy sector is settling the problem of loss-making coal mines. There are two different visions of the future development of the coal industry at the moment — further investment in state-owned mines with a view to selling them, or gradual closing of loss-making coal mines with the simultaneous reorganization of related sectors.
In the context of the first vision, the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry developed the Concept of the State target economic program of reforming the coal industry by 2020. The document was subject to a series of iterations, but it hasn’t been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers yet.
The second approach suggests closing of all loss-making undertakings and aims to settle economic problems, as well as the problems of retraining employees and development of alternative sectors within the territories of those mines.
Issues discussed: Is there any alternative to mines and coal in Ukraine? Is it actually possible to retrain miners (how much it would cost, are there any available resources)? Is there a final reform strategy at the legislative and conceptual levels? In any case, coal fields and demand for coal will remain — how to deal with it? Will there be any environmental consequences of closing coal mines and will they be commensurable with the economic effects achieved?
• Anatolii Korzun, Director of the Coal Industry Department, the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry
• Ihor Volchyn, Senior Research Fellow, the Institute of Coal Energy Technologies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
• Roman Nitsovych, Program Manager, DiXi Group think tank
• Oleksii Zvolynskyi, Director of the Labor Market Monitoring Center (LMMC Ukraine)
• Maksym Prasolov, leading expert of the Labor Market Monitoring Center (LMMC Ukraine)
• Anton Yashchenko, Director of Kakha Bendukidze Free Market Centre
Among the other invited were representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the NEPURC, miners, civic activists and journalists from mining regions.
Moderator Denys Kazanskyi, Editor-in-Chief for the Fourth Power, journalist for the Ukrainian Week.
Venue: Ukraine Anti-crisis Centre (2 Khreshchatyk, Kyiv)
Please feel free to contact Mrs. Viktoriia Torop for any additional information (phone (095) 4555039).
The debates were organized by DiXi Group within the framework of the Ukrainian Think Tank Development Initiative implemented by the International Renaissance Foundation and the Think Tank Fund, and funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine (SIDA).