Ukraine has signed a deal with South Africa to purchase one million tonnes (Mt) of coal after the company’s coal mines in the Donbass region were shutdown due to an on-going military conflict.
Ukraine Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk was quoted by Reuters as saying: “[The rebels] bombed our main coal mines … and so the government has already signed an agreement on the supply of 1Mt of coal from South Africa.
“The first vessel is loading now.”
Currently, the country has a stockpile of around 1.7Mt of coal, which is expected to last until November of this year; the the annual demand is 50Mt.
In 2013, Ukraine produced 83Mt of coal, of which 60% was used to generate power.
The recent shortage was the result of an armed conflict between the government and Pro-Russian separatists, which affected the main coal mining areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
According to Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysenko, militants in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have also stolen around 15,000t of coal from Ukrainian mines, reported Bloomberg.
The country now plans to import stocks from Poland, Indonesia, Colombia, Australia and New Zealand, Ukraine energy resources director Andrey Fafaorov told RT.com.