Kiev — Ukraine's overall reserves of coal at thermal power plants increased 8.3% month on month to 1.56 million mt as of May 29, up from 1.44 million mt as of May 2, the energy and coal industry ministry reported Tuesday.
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Reserves of thermal coal, which are widely used at the country's thermal power plants, rose 2.6% to 1.19 million mt as of May 29, up from 1.16 million mt as of May 2.
Power plants' stocks of anthracite -- the type of coal with the highest calorific content -- increased by 34.2% to 370,500 mt as of May 29 from 276,100 mt as of May 2, the ministry reported.
The reserves rose mostly because of accelerated imports of coal from Russia, according to the state customs service.
Ukraine, one of the world's largest coal producers, began experiencing shortages of coal, mostly anthracite, in June 2014 as a result of military conflict with pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk.
Ukraine imported 7.44 million mt of coal, including anthracite, from January to April, up from 4.83 million mt imported in the same period in 2017, according to the customs service. Of the total coal imports, 64.1% came from Russia, 28.7% came from the US and 4.8% came from Canada.
Coal inventories at power plants are currently much lower in comparison with levels in 2017, when power plants held a total of 2.28 million mt of coal in warehouses as of May 29, 2017, including 426,900 mt of anthracite and 1.85 million mt of thermal coal.