Ukraine’s DTEK says will become coal importer – by Sarah McFarlane (Reuters U.S. – May 19, 2015)

NICE – May 19 Ukraine’s biggest power producer and major coal miner DTEK will become a coal importer due to difficulties in the domestic mining industry, an executive from the company said on Tuesday.

“In a country like Ukraine which typically produces 75 to 80 million tonnes of coal a year, it’s insane to think we’re going to turn into an importer, but there are several factors at work here,” said John Woodham, head of trading at DTEK SA, speaking at the IHS European coal conference.

Woodham said domestic production was in decline due to a combination of the conflict in the east of the country halting production at some mines, while cuts to subsidies for state mines are triggering closures.

DTEK, part of the business empire of Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov, accounts for about 29 percent of the country’s thermal power generation and controls about 46 percent of Ukraine’s coal production.

“I think we will probably be an importer of coal as crazy as that sounds, probably not steam coal, probably we’ll step into the steam coal market to top up some of our inventories because our inventories are very low on steam coal, but definitely on the anthracite low vol markets DTEK is going to be a net importer of coal for the foreseeable future,” Woodham said.

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