KIEV, November 27. /TASS/. Coal inventories at Ukrainian thermal power stations will suffice for their normal operation for a month after Russia and the Donbas region halted coal deliveries, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Vladimir Demchishin said on Friday.
"Considering that Ukraine is not supplying electricity to Crimea now, several risky factors have emerged," the energy minister said in the Ukrainian parliament.
"First of all, we have been restricted in coal deliveries from Russia and the uncontrolled territories in east Ukraine. Now the coal inventories at our thermal power plants will suffice for a month but in a longer perspective problems will arise," he said.
According to the minister, Ukraine plans to solve the problem of its dependence on Russian coal in 2016.
Speaking at a meeting in the Verkhovnaya Rada (one-chamber parliament of Ukraine — TASS) he said: "I can assure you that next year we will solve this problem. We will start the next heating season without being dependent on Russian coal," he said.
According to the minister, "this year's dependence on external supplies of coal has decreased by at least 30%."
Demchishin also touched upon the situation with fuel for power plants.
According to him, currently, about 1 million tons of anthracite coal is stored by thermal power plants. Another 250,000 tonnes will be delivered from South Africa in December.
In general, that volume is enough to ensure the operation of coal stations for 45-50 days. In the future, Kiev will have to provide additional external supplies, he said.
"We are confident that in the next 45-50 days, our energy system maintains a stable production mode," Demchishin said.
He added that the infrastructure of ports is the main problem for Ukraine when it comes to buying coal abroad.
Currently, Ukrainian ports can receive up to 400,000 tonnes of coal per month while the necessary volume for energy industry is 600,000 tonnes, he said.
The minister confirmed that the supplies of coal from Russia and uncontrolled territories of Donbass to Ukraine had been suspended.