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This Winter Ukraine Is Getting Its Coal From Rebel-Held Donbass, Not South Africa

'I will be frank: we got our fingers burnt last year' - says chief of Ukraine's largest energy company

KIEV, September 11 (TASS) - Ukraine’s biggest energy company, DTEK said on Friday it will not buy coal for the forthcoming heating season in South Africa.

"I will be frank: we got our fingers burnt last year when we brought expensive coal from South Africa and had a tariff [from heat plants] that covered 70% of our expenses. So, now we have a principally different position that we are not ready to use imported coal," DTEK’s CEO Maxim Timchenko told journalists on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy in Kiev.

He said the company had about two million tonnes of coal in territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that were out of control of the Kiev authorities.

He said Ukraine was unable to bring coal from uncontrolled territories of Donbass for two days in a row due to problems with diesel fuel, material and locomotive supplies to the Donetsk Railway. Timchenko said it was a "great progress" that coal supplies from Donbas had been resumed in the past two months. Thus, in his words, up to 40,000 tonnes of coal is daily delivered from Donbas by rail.

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