The coal deficit in Ukraine arose due to the decrease in requirements for the reserves level in TPP warehouses. This raises the question of converting them to expensive gas, or introducing rolling blackouts.
Why is there a coal deficit, despite the regular bravado of the Ministry of Energy about its record reserves in warehouses? In mid-December, the Ministry lowered the level of requirements for the coal reserves volume in TPP warehouses. In the winter frost conditions, its accelerated consumption took place, and there was no replenishment of stocks, writes Monopolist.
Since the beginning of the heating season, these requirements have gradually increased. But in mid-December they were sharply reduced. As early as December 10, the requirement for minimum stocks was 1.58 million tons, and on December 11 it was reduced to 0.85 million tons.
Meanwhile, three power units of the Zaporozhye NPP were idle, instead of them electricity was produced by TPPs, burning coal.
If the level of coal reserves in the warehouses were significantly different from the requirements of the Ministry, then the generating companies would not comply with the license conditions. They would have to bring coal, store gas and fuel oil, and open electricity imports to save coal for the January cold.
But this did not happen, so we have a critically low level of coal at TPPs. The production of 90% of thermal coal and 65%-70% of thermal generation in the country is controlled by Rinat Akhmetov's DTEK.
The coal deficit has led to an electricity deficit and an increase in the market price for it. This is beneficial for both DTEK and the Privat group of Kolomoiskyi-Bogolyubov, that bought cheap electricity in advance from the state-owned Energoatom and Centrenergo.