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Ukraine’s southern region to switch to firewood due to fuel shortage

October 07, 2014, 9:44 UTC+3 ODESSA ODESSA October, 7. /TASS
Ukraine has fuel problems because the militia in the east have blocked coal supplies from mining companies to Ukrainian consumers, an official says
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

ODESSA, October 7. /TASS/. The head of Ukraine’ Kherson region has urged district heads to switch social facilities to firewood as alternative fuel, Ukrinform news agency said on Tuesday, citing the regional administration press service.

“Every district must be supplied in full with firewood. We must have our wood not to be exported, but left in the region for own needs,” the region’s administration head Andrei Putilov said.

The radical decision is explained by the acute shortage of coal.

Officials noted during a meeting of the regional education and science department that only 42% of schools and universities had coal, and eight districts in the region had no coal supplies at all.

Ukrainian Vice-Premier Vladimir Groisman told reporters in September that the country would have up to five-million-ton coal shortage this year.

The Ukrainian Security and Defense Council’s spokesman Andrei Lysenko said the country has fuel problems because the militia in the east have blocked coal supplies from mining companies to Ukrainian consumers.

Electric power plants in Ukraine are also short of coal.

In late September, the Ukrenergo state-run company switched industrial facilities in Kiev to a schedule of electricity supply halts because of the coal shortage.

Ukrainian authorities are considering possibilities to find foreign coal suppliers. Among them are the United States, South Africa, Brazil and Chile.

Experts told TASS that coal imports for Ukraine are absolutely unrealistic. It can be imagined theoretically that a sea coal carrier may come from Australia to a Ukrainian port, but delivery of the coal to a power and heating plant is quite economically inexpedient.

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