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 Expert says Ukraine failed to become independent of coal supplies from Donbas over three years, proposes alternative

Former member of the National energy and utilities regulatory commission of Ukraine (NEURCU) Andrii Herus says the president, NEURCU Chairman Vovk, and Energy Minister Nasalyk have voiced many different (and often controversial) views regarding the power station coal supplies over the past year.

Censor.NET reports citing an article by Herus for Novoie Vremia.

The expert wrote: "Dmytro Vovk explained that the energy tariffs were linked to the coal price in Rotterdam (the so-called Rotterdam+) due to shortage of coal supplies from the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone and the need to make Ukraine independent from the temporarily uncontrolled territory.

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"However, Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman said yesterday that there was no alternative to coal supplies from the "DPR"/"LPR". His statement came 10 months after introduction of Rotterdam+ which was allegedly meant to ensure the country's independence of the occupied territory.

"Is this really so? No, I believe there is an alternative," Herus wrote in his article.

"We need about 9 million tons of anthracite coal per year. … Coal is just a resource used for energy production which means that we can import ready-made electricity.

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"It is possible to import a total of about 4 GW of power, while Ukraine is capable of importing 0.5-1 GW without Russia, which can replace about 2 million tons of coal," former NEURCU member said.

Herus says these measures altogether may replace 9.5 million tons of anthracite coal which exceeds the country's annual consumption. Timely coal stockpiling to maintain the minimum balance: Ukraine will be sure-footed under any circumstances having coal reserves in its warehouses sufficient for 2-3 months.

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"In my opinion, Ukraine's independence of coal supplies from the "DPR"/"LPR", not the unconditional refusal, is top priority.

"The stark reality is that we failed to become independent of the coal delivered from the ATO zone over three years while "DPR"/"LPR" will be the only possible anthracite coal supplier in the next 1-1.5 months. Although we have already paid for our energy independence by sky-high tariffs," Herus summed up.

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As reported, Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman said Feb. 12 that the railroad tracks at the demarcation line in the Donbas should be urgently got unblocked since it had a negative impact on the economy and might trigger rolling blackouts over power station coal shortfall.

On Jan. 25, anti-terrorist operation (ATO) veterans blocked the Luhansk-Popasna haul, launching a trade blockade of the occupied Donbas areas. The movement of 12 trains with a total of 700 cars has been barred.

Later, Deputy Minister for the Occupied Territories and IDPs Heorhii Tuka said the decision to launch trade blockade was extra-legal. Minister for the temporarily occupied territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh spoke against possible ban on commodities delivery across the contact line in the Donbas: "We need to be able to deliver coal, otherwise we will face problems throughout the country."

On Feb. 2, participants of the trade blockade barred another railroad track near Bakhmut.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n427760