By Alexander Bor and E Shailaja Nair
June 12, 2018 - Ukraine's coal production fell 2.2% on the year to 2.66 million mt in May, the energy and coal industry ministry said Monday.
Over January-May Ukraine extracted 13.9 million mt of coal, down 12% year on year, the ministry said.
Most state-owned coal mines in Ukraine are losing money due to high production costs. The government plans to open the sector to private investors to boost its efficiency and coal output.
"Today a ton of coal produced at a state mine costs more than a ton of coal produced at a private mine," Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in a statement last Friday.
"It's time to attract capital, including private capital, to make sure miners get jobs and the country gets more coal," Groysman said.
Ukraine's state-owned coal mines extracted 1.85 million mt of coal over January-May, down 7.6% from a year ago, according to the ministry.
Ukraine's coal sector has been disrupted since June 2014 due to an armed conflict in the key coal producing regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The country's thermal coal output fell 13.1% on the year to 11.2 million mt in the first five months, while production of coking coal fell 7.5% to 2.7 million mt, according to the ministry.
Ukraine produced 34.92 million mt of coal in 2017, down 14.5% on the year.
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