Ukraine plans to abandon the coal industry—Shmyhal

Ukraine is developing a State Program for the Transformation of Coal Regions, according to which the complete closure of the coal industry will be carried out until 2030.

"We are ready for the challenges that Ukraine faces in the context of the "green" transition, decarbonization of the economy and the need to reform the coal sector and transform coal-mining regions," Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a video conference with representatives of the the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Prime Minister clarified that now there are 61 coal regions in Ukraine. These are monocities that are attached to a single enterprise, coal mine or station.

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"All these regions have the old infrastructure of the 60-80s of the last century. Depletion, closure of mines and the gradual strategic closure of the coal industry as a whole will create social tensions in the future. It is necessary to take a number of strategic steps to ensure the delivery of social services to people in these regions," the head of government stressed.

The Prime Minister noted that in this context, the experience and support of the FRG and the EU are extremely important for Ukraine. In this regard, Shmyhal commended the creation of the Partnership Secretariat and stressed that the Ukrainian government is ready to cooperate with the Project Office for the Transformation of Coal Regions with the support of GIZ to develop and implement pilot projects.

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"We have prepared two mines—in Donetsk and Lviv regions, that we proposed to accept for the implementation of joint pilot projects. They must demonstrate the results of transformation so that we can extend them to other coal regions," the Prime Minister said.

It is also planned to include a joint project with the World Bank to transform coal regions.

"It is important to accompany the transformation of coal regions with the creation of new economic incentives so that new competitive clusters and new innovative and technological industries appear on the basis of coal industry enterprises. After all, the selected regions have the appropriate infrastructure: transport routes, substations, and power grids," Shmyhal said.

Earlier, the Ministry of Energy announced the Concept of reforming the coal industry to solve the problem of chronic unprofitableness of state-owned mines and adapt the laid-off miners.

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