US set to deliver coal to Ukraine for first time

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
Miners in PA excited about this.

The United States is set to begin delivering coal to Ukraine for the first time in a deal Washington framed as a move toward reducing Kyiv's reliance on Russian energy. Under a deal signed earlier this month between the Ukrainian state-owned energy company Centrenergo and the U.S. firm Xcoal Energy & Resources, some 700,000 metric tons will be shipped to Ukraine by the end of 2017.

"The first shipment of 85,000 [metric tons] is expected in early September," Centrenergo head Oleh Kozemko said at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv on July 31, adding that the deliveries should help Ukraine through the winter. George Kent, the embassy's charge d'affaires, said the deal demonstrates "intensified cooperation" to reduce Kyiv's dependence on Moscow since Russia seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and proceeded to back armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Kent said U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko discussed the possibility of U.S. coal deliveries to Ukraine during their June 20 meeting at the White House.

Ukraine has been struggling to produce coal since the conflict erupted in April 2014 because Russia-backed separatist forces control much of its coal-rich region.

“Mines are going to have to ramp up to fill this order … This deal is very important for us, very important to the entire U.S. coal industry.”

Officials praise coal deal between Pa. company, Ukraine as 'shot in the arm' for industry, message to Russia | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
U.S. Set To Deliver Coal To Ukraine For The First Time |
Sep 2014
United States
Another thing Trump gets done in a few months what Obama couldn't in 8 years.
Jun 2014
United States
Under a deal signed earlier this month between the Ukrainian state-owned energy company Centrenergo and the U.S. firm Xcoal Energy & Resources, some 700,000 metric tons will be shipped to Ukraine by the end of 2017.
That amounts to about 0.008% of annual US coal production, which has been declining steadily since 2009. Assuming three times as much coal is delivered to Ukraine in 2018, that would amount to 0.024% of annual production. I really don't see much "ramping up" happening. It's probably good news for this one company in Pennsylvania. Abundant Natural Gas has been reducing domestic demand for coal over the past several years.

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Yeah... I saw already Russian posters mocking Ukrainians about this online... Ukraine used to be a major coal power in the ex-USSR sphere. Their Donbass coal region had been second only to Russia's own Kuzbass.

Most of Ukraine's coal mines are in Donbass (map of coal-producing regions of Ukraine below)

and most of those are now under rebel control

These are rich mines, they produce big quantities of coal

"4,000,000 tonnes of black gold - for Donetsk People's Republic!" (and NOT for Ukraine :D)

The separatists sell their coal to the Russians, who resell it legally for them.

They make nice profits, more than enough to outfit their forces with latest gear, weapons, and equipment available on the black market in Russia

And for themselves, the separatist elites, to live well also.

Ukraine, meanwhile, needs coal, it fuels majority of their electrical power plants

They have a couple nuclear plants. The one in Zaporozhye barely functions, there have been frequent shut downs of reactor blocks, people there constantly worry about another Chernobyl... There is another one, I think, in Western Ukraine, not sure what shape it is in; and they have a couple hydro plants too; but most power in Ukraine comes from coal. Millions could be left without power, or heat, also, due to a coal shortage.

So, I suppose, for them, this is good, even if Russians find it hilarious.

But, depending on US shipments is dangerous.

There is talk in Russia, if US decides to send weapons to the Ukrops, of a potential Naval blockade of Ukraine, as retaliation, as I mentioned here:

I've seen admirals and politicians there proposing this. Don't know if Putin would necessarily go for it. But, it is very much a possibility. Russia could cut off these shipments at any time, if they choose.

Unless the US would be willing to send your own Navy to confront them over it? Because, as I also mentioned there, the Ukrainians themselves would not be able to do a lot about it, they don't have much of a Navy left, all their best and biggest ships stayed in Crimea, under the Russian flag, since 2014...

Another possibility, in that scenario, without confrontation, would be to send the coal (and anything else) through NATO territory, through Poland and Romania ;)

Lots of possibilities. Future will be interesting, to be sure...
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