Thermal coal production decreased by 9.4% in 2019 in Ukraine
In 2019, Ukrainian miners mined 24,901 thousand tons of thermal coal used by thermal power plants and combined heat and power plants, which is 9.4% less than in January-December last year. The rate of decline in production accelerated last year, in 2018 the decrease in production rate was 2.2%, up to 27,477 thousand tons.
Private coal enterprises produced 22,182 thousand tons of fuel from the volume mined in 2019, or 7.2% less than in the 12 months of 2018, and state-owned – 2,719 thousand tons, 24.1% less than a year earlier .
The rate of decline in production accelerated somewhat in December, as in January-November the decrease in coal production was 9.3% compared to the same period last year. The vast majority of state mines remain unprofitable, despite the high level of electricity prices that thermal power plants sell at market prices.
Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine Olexiy Orzhel presented the Strategy of Energy Transition of Ukraine until 2050, which provides for a gradual phase-out of coal electricity generation by that time on January 22.
Many experts and energy market participants believe that the government should continue a long-term program to gradually reduce subsidies for unprofitable state-owned coal mining enterprises with the prospect of decommissioning them. In particular, one of the state coal mines, Krasnolimanska mine, is proposed to be privatized along with state heat generation managed by Centrenergo.
Meanwhile, on January 24, it became known that two state mines at the end of January could be disconnected from power supply due to record debts.
Dynamics of thermal coal production (total by private and state enterprises) in 2019:
- January - 2,132.7 thousand tons (implementation of the ministerial plan by 88.7%);
- February - 2,095 thousand tons (96.5%);
- March - 2,309.4 thousand tons (105%);
- April - 2 110.4 thousand tons (n.a.);
- May - 2,109.1 thousand tons (89.8%);
- June - 2,127.7 thousand tons (92.3%);
- July - 2,032.9 thousand tons (79.2%);
- August - 1,782.7 thousand tons (73.6%);
- September - 1 979 thousand tons (77.6%);
- October - 2 199.8 thousand tons (84.9%);
- November - 2 199.4 thousand tons (85.2%);
- December - 2,095 thousand tons (81.1%).
The leader in coal mining is Dnipropetrovsk region, where DTEK Pavlohradvuhillya produced 17,731 thousand tons of coal used in the energy sector (89.8% of the plan of the Ministry of Energy) for the 12 months of last year. Also the producer mined 476 thousand tons of coking coal (18 207 thousand tons in total). This total level is 10.3% lower than it was in 2018.
5,412 thousand tons of energy were produced in Donetsk region, or 2.2% less than a year earlier, and in Lviv region – 1,360 thousand tons (13.6% less than in 2018). In Lugansk region, the decline in coal production was the most significant and amounted to 33.1%, up to 329 thousand tons.
Volyn region is characterized by the lowest production figures, the production volume of which amounted to 70 thousand tons in 2019, which is 29.3% less than a year earlier.