Prime minister says Ukraine has enough gas, coal for heating season

14 December 2021, 02:16 PM

Ukraine has enough gas and coal reserves for the 2021-2022 heating season, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said at a meeting of the Ukrainian cabinet on Dec. 15, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

Opening the regular Wednesday government meeting, the prime minister said that "the typical horror stories that Ukraine will run out of coal by winter have turned out to be just more fake news."

 Citing data from the Energy Ministry, Shmyhal said about 2 million tonnes of Ukrainian and imported coal are expected to be available in December, with consumption projected at 1.7 million tonnes.

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 The prime minister added that Ukraine had stepped up work to develop domestic coal production.

 To do this it would be necessary, among other things, to ensure the repayment of all wage arrears to miners, Shmyhal said. Over UAH 700 million (U.S. $25.9 million) will be allocated for these purposes, he added.

 "Thus, the heating season is stable, there are enough energy resources," Shmyhal said.

 Moreover, utility tariffs will not go up, the prime minister added.

 Earlier, the Ekonomichna Pravda business media outlet reported that because of coal shortages,  the government was looking at ways to convert Ukrainian thermal power plants to burning gas instead of coal.

 In addition, neighboring Belarus briefly cut electricity supplies to Ukraine amid tensions over a migrant crisis and Russia’s buildup of troops next to Ukraine’s borders.

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