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    February 25, 2015

    Ukraine's powerplants idled by lack of coal


    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

    Deputy Minister of Energy Aleksandr Svetelik said that Ukraine’s large thermal powerplants have run out of coal. The situation is very difficult. The Uglegorsk powerplant has been idld.

    “I visited the Uglegorsk plant yesterday, they have no coal at all. We used to cover the shortage with gas, but now we have no gas. It’s a difficult situation. The Uglegorsk situation has been shut down. If we don’t balance the situation, we’ll have to shut off electricity. Do you remember how it was in December? Chaos, horror.”

    He also said that the shortage of coal makes it impossible to start the Slavyansk powerplant. “We have done everything we could, but we can’t start it up because there is no coal, and we can’t deliver it there anyway because there is no infrastructure. Once we get coal, things will pick up.”

    The Uglegorsk plant is located in Svelodarsk of the Donetsk region, between Gorlovka and Debaltsevo. The Slavyansk plant is in Nikolayevka, Donetsk region.

    Ukraine is experiencing serious problems with electricity production. Hydroelectric stations are generating the lowest levels of electricity for the last 45 years, the transmission networks and transport infrastructure on the Donbass has been destroyed.

    J.Hawk’s Comment: One wonders why the hydro plants are doing so badly—did the junta also manage to run out of water?

    As a side note, the importance of the Donbass to Ukraine’s economy is becoming clear with every passing day. Not only was its industry a major source of hard currency for the government, it also enabled the country to meet much of its energy demand through the use of domestic coal. The loss of the Donbass therefore represents a double blow to the country’s economy—not only is it getting less revenue, it has to spend more of what it has on foreign coal. That such policies have continued for a year and show no sign of changing is indicative of the grip the nationalists have on the Kiev government. It is their and only their support that the junta worries about. No matter what happens, Kiev cannot make nice with Novorossia or Russia.
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