Kiev, Ukraine — Ukraine's largest producer of power from fossil fuels, DTEK, will import at least 400,000 mt of coal from Colombia within the next few months, Maksym Tymchenko, DTEK general manager, said Tuesday.
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The supplies will include 300,000 mt of thermal coal and 100,000 mt of anthracite, he said.
"We have contracts for the supply of 300,000 mt of thermal coal, and also 100,000 mt of anthracite," Tymchenko said. "But we're not stopping here and will continue to look for more shipments based on the situation we're in."
The Colombian supplies are a new trade route for Ukraine, which has been mostly importing coal from Russia, the US, Kazakhstan and South Africa.
Ukrainian traders look at the availability of coal and its price while deciding on supply contracts, industry sources said.
The first shipment of Colombian coal arrived at the port of Pivdenniy near Odessa on August 13, and the next shipment is scheduled to arrive on September 3, Tymchenko said.
DTEK needs to import between 500,000 mt and 1 million mt of coal before the end of the year to successfully operate and generate power during the winter, according to Tymchenko.
Ukraine's six-month-long peak demand season usually begins on October 15, but the government often delays the start of heating for few weeks provided that air temperatures are higher than 8 degrees Celsius.
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Companies such as DTEK are allowed to continue imports of coal even after the peak demand season begins.
Ukraine, a major producer of coal, lost all of its anthracite coal mines after the war with Moscow-backed separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014.
Ukraine's stocks of thermal coal at power plants were down 46% year on year at 753,400 mt on Monday, the energy and coal industry reported.
Ukraine's imports of coal, including anthracite, decreased 9.5% year on year to 11.66 million mt in the first seven months of 2019, according to the state customs service.
If measured by value, imports of coal fell 8.9% to $1.64 billion in the seven month period.
Most of the coal imports, some 60.1%, came from Russia, while other sources included the US (33.5%) and Kazakhstan (4.5%), according to the service.
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