Ukraine and coal

From Global Energy Monitor

Ukraine was a major coal producer but has lost control of almost all its mines in eastern areas to separatists.[1]

The US Energy Information Administration states that "the country's coal industry, which counts slightly less than 200 mines and employs about 500,000 people, is managed by a hierarchy of state organizations and suffers from numerous problems including labor strikes, hazardous working conditions, inefficiency and low productivity. Ukraine has the world's second-highest mining fatality rate, with an average of 317 deaths a year since 1990. Only in China is the fatality rate higher."[2]

The Ukraine Energy Strategy (2006) plans to increase the percentage of coal in the energy balance from 22% (43.5 mn tons of equivalent fuel) in 2005 to 33% (101 mn of equivalent fuel) by 2030 according to the base scenario.[3]

Coal Resources

Ukraine holds the 7th largest coal reserves in the world about 34 billion tonnes and 3rd largest anthracite coal reserves – 5.8 billion tones. Most of the country’s coal deposits are located in Donbas basin, Eastern Ukraine. In 2010, Ukraine was the 13th largest coal mining country in the world. Out of 82 mmt of coal mined in 2011, steam coal volume amounted to 62% of total output.[4]

Coal mining

The Ukraine government has estimated the country's total coal reserves at 117.5 billion tons, with explored reserves estimated at 56.7 billion tons. The World Energy Council (WEC) estimates the total coal reserves at 52 billion tons and explored reserves at 34.2 billion tons.[5]

While the coal sector is currently dominated by state-owned mining companies, the USGS reports that "the country’s coal mines were subject to chronic financial distress and only limited efforts had been made to improve their performance." Approximately 90% of Ukraine's hard coal came from the Donets coal basin where in 2006 there were approximately 225 operating mines which produced 130 million tonnes. The remainder of the hard coal came from the Lviv-Volynskiy Basin in Western Ukraine where 18 mines produce approximately 6 million tonnes a year.[6]

Approximately 7 million tonnes of brown coal is mined from the Dnipr Basin in Central Ukraine.[6]

While government owned operations are declining, plans have been announced to faciliate a rapid expansion of new mines. The USGS reports that in 2005 Ukraine’s Coal Industry Ministry "selected seven of the most promising hard coal deposits with combined reserves in excess of 1 Gt for development. The seven new mines, if developed, would have a combined capacity to produce 17.7 Mt/yr of coal. Ukraine’s energy strategy for the period to 2030, which was approved by the Government in 2006, called for increasing coal output to 130.3 Mt."[6]

President Viktor Yanukovych said Ukraine has about 12 trillion cubic meters of coalbed methane, which Ukraine is looking for investment to mine.[7] Ukraine's coal output is expected to rise to around 80 million mt in 2011, from 75.17 million mt in 2010.[8]

Coal mines

Euracoal lists 149 mines operating in Ukraine, including 120 state-owned and 29 private mines.[9]

Chinese investment

In August 2011, President Viktor Yanukovych said Ukraine is seeking to get $1 billion of Chinese investments to develop its coal-mining sector. Agreements have been made with China to start a joint pilot project to upgrade the Melnykova mine in the Luhansk region in east Ukraine.[10]

Coal fired power stations

The US Energy Information Administration reports that Ukraine's power sector "is the twelfth-largest in the world in terms of installed capacity, with 54 gigawatts (GW)". However, since gaining independence both generation and consumption dropped dramatically resulting in approximately 50% over-capacity. While power exports have increased and new nuclear power stations been commissioned, substantial investment is required in maintaining and upgrading the transmission and distribution system.[11]

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions

The Starobeshev power station is a coal-fired power station in eastern Ukraine. The Environmental Defense Fund reports that financing from a mulilateral development bank for the "supply and installation of a 210 MW fluidised bed boiler with ancillary equipment at Unit 4 of the Starobeshevo Power Station".[12]

Proposed coal stations

In June 2012 the Ukraine announced in a revised energy policy draft that it wishes to build and upgrade 14GW (out of 20GW) of coal plants.[13][14]

Coal imports

Over 3 million tons of anthracite are imported per year, and coal imports from the USA bring diplomatic benefits.[1]


The Ukrainian financial and industrial holding company System Capital Management’s energy business, Donbass Fuel-Energy Complex (DTEK) (Russian: Tопливно-энергетический комплекс Донбассa), generates 25.4% of all power produced by Ukraine’s thermal power plants. DTEK is the first private vertically integrated power generating company of Ukraine. DTEK was formed in 2002, and is an association of 15 various enterprises vertically integrating the mining and refining of coal to the supplying of electricity. The main companies are Vostokenergo Power Generation Company, ServiceInvest Energy Company, and the coal mine Komsomolets Donbassa.[15]

According to its website, the key strategic goal of DTEK is to become the largest company in the power energy field in Ukraine. DTEK companies account for one fifth of the country’s output of coal, producing 17.595 million tons of coal in 2008.[16]

DTEK has three thermal power plants: Zuyevskaya, Kurakhovskaya, and Luganskaya run by Vostokenergo. In 2008 the electric power transmission volume constituted 13.51 million MW.[16]

SCM's largest company is Metinvest, an international, vertically integrated mining and steel group of companies, comprising 23 industrial companies involved in the mining and steel industry of Ukraine and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In May 2009, SCM Holdings/Metinvest purchased the West Virginia-based United Coal Company for an estimated $1 billion.[17].

In 2007 the Division’s mines produced over 5.74 million tons of coal, and Avdeyevka Coke and Chemical Plant, which operates as a part of the Division, produced more than 3 million tons of blast furnace coke.[18]

Alternatives to coal

Final energy consumption could reduced by 40%, and 90% could be supplied by renewables by 2050.[19]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "How a U.S. coal deal warmed Ukraine's ties with Trump," Reuters, 19 Feb 2018
  2. US Energy Information Administration, "Ukraine: Coal", US Energy Information Administration website, undated accessed May 2010.
  3. "Problems of Ukraine's Coal Sector," Ukraine Ecological Society, 2010.
  4. Energy Resources: Coal, World Energy Council, Country Notes, 2013.
  5. "Problems of Ukraine's Coal Sector," Ukraine Ecological Society, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Richard M. Levine and Glenn J. Wallace, "The Mineral Industries of the Commmmonwealth of Independent States", U.S. Geological Survey, September 2009.
  7. Kateryna Choursina, "Ukraine Seeks Chinese Investment of $1 Billion for Coal Mines" Bloomberg, August 26, 2011.
  8. "Ukraine's coal output to rise by 5 million mt in 2011" Platts, Sep. 1, 2011.
  9. "Ukraine," Eurocoal, accessed Nov. 2012.
  10. Kateryna Choursina, "Ukraine Seeks Chinese Investment of $1 Billion for Coal Mines" Bloomberg, August 26, 2011.
  11. US Energy Information Administration, "Ukraine: Electricity", US Energy Information Administration website, undated accessed May 2010.
  12. "Coal-Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions Since 1994", Appendix to Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense, April 2009.
  13. [1]
  14. "Problems of Ukraine's Coal Sector," Ukraine Ecological Society, 2010.
  15. "About SCM" SCM Website, accessed June 2010.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Electric power business - DTEK" SCM Website, accessed June 2010.
  17. "Ukraine oligarch buy US coal group" Financial Times, May 1, 2009
  18. "Coal and Coke Division" SCM Website, accessed June 2010.
  19. [ "TRANSITION OF UKRAINE TO THE RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2050"] Heinrich Boell Foundation Regional Office in Ukriane. – Kyiv, 2017

Related articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia:Category:Coal in Ukraine