II International Coal Conference

«TRENDS AND PROSPECTS OF COAL PRODUCTION AND USAGE IN UKRAINE AND GLOBALLY»

PROGRAMME AND AVAILABLE MATERIALS

Plenary session

Section 1. Prospects of the Ukrainian Coal Industry

Section 2. United Energy System of Ukraine

Section 3. Social and Economic Problems of Coal Regions

Section 4. Technological Potential of the Energy Sector and Sustainable Development of Coal-Mining Regions

Ukraine has been pursuing a strategic objective of attaining energy independence. This objective envisages the following efforts: building up the resource potential and ramping up the production of energy resources; diversification of supply sources and routes; technological modernization of the industry’s key undertakings; major reduction of the imported energy resources, etc.

The reliable operation of the Ukrainian energy system will remain the key priority for the industry in the situation where it is important to ensure stable supply of energy resources, transition from regulated tariffs to market prices on the electricity market, and integration of the United Energy System of Ukraine with the system of the Continental Europe (ENTSO-E).

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Coal is indispensable to guaranteeing energy security as the Ukrainian Energy Strategy 2035 envisages that the thermal generation will maintain its place in balancing the operation of the Ukrainian energy system. 

It is expected that in 2025 the load of the thermal generation based on fossil fuel will remain on relatively same level as in 2016-2017. Considering the loss of anthracite assets, Ukraine will have to reduce the consumption of A-grade coal while increasing the consumption of G-grade coal in the nearest few years. This aim will be achieved by converting the generating units from anthracite to steam coal grades. For instance, in 2017 the following generating units were converted to steam coal: Zmiivs’ka TPP - two 150 MW units; Prydniprovs’ka TPP - two 150 MW units. In 2018-2019, the following units are to be converted to steam coal: Trypil’s’ka TPP: two 300 MW units in 2018; Zmiivs’ka TPP: two 150 MW units in 2018, and two 150 MW units in 2019; Prydniprovs’ka TPP: two 150 MW units in 2018, and one 300 MW unit in 2019; Kryvoriz’ka TPP: two 282 MW units in 2019-2020.

The conference participants agreed that the Ukrainian coal mining sector requires restructuring, modernization, and development. In the recent years, Ukraine has faced numerous new problems and critical challenges caused by military aggression and temporarily occupation of certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which first resulted in interruptions and then led to the complete cease of the supply of domestically produced anthracite coal. Alongside considerable expenditures and the need for a solution to social and environmental issues, this factor constrains the reform of the Ukrainian coal sector, which will be possible only if large-scale international technical, expert and financial assistance is provided.

In particular, the conference participants expressed their concern about coal mine drainage at the mines located on the temporary occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions that had been shut down before 2014 and mothballed in the following years. The situation calls for an intervention of international organizations to prevent severe environmental risks.

In addition, the approval of a package of decisions ensuring full implementation of the Paris Agreement, which is expected at the end of 2018 during the Climate Change Conference (COP-24) in Katowice, will be of a growing importance for coal mining and coal-based generation. Poland as a hosting party plans to present the experience and financial mechanisms capable of securing a balance between the restructuring of the coal sector, introduction of clean coal technologies, and attaining the objective of preventing irreparable adverse impact of industrial operations on climate. This is why the contribution of scientific developments and the outcome of research focused on the practical application in the industry plays a key role in achieving the objectives of the Ukrainian Energy Strategy 2035 and fulfilling international commitments of Ukraine.

The cooperation with the EU plays a significant role in the transformation of the energy sector of Ukraine, in particular, by adopting and monitoring the implementation of the Annual Work Plans under the Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Energy Partnership between Ukraine and the European Union together with the European Atomic Energy Community. The participants welcomed the fact that the II International Coal Conference has been included into the Annual Work Plan 2018, especially bearing in mind that retaining this topic in the Annual Work Plans should be needed until whole complex of issues related to the transformation of the coal regions, transition to the clean technologies, resolving environmental issues and strengthening the sustainable development mechanisms would be settled successfully.

Presently, Ukraine and the EU are discussing the possibility and format of Ukraine’s joining the initiative of the Energy Union. This initiative focuses on innovations and more active involvement of stakeholders at regional level in the attainment of the objectives of the EU policies in the areas of energy and climate change. The package of measures ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ aimed at providing the legislative framework was a step towards the creation of the Energy Union and served as a basis for the introduction of the Coal Regions in Transition Platform (CRiTP) in December 2017. The participants discussed in details the existing situation and objectives pursued by the Platform and came to conclusion that the involvement of the Ukrainian party and industry in this initiative as observers are highly needed.

Among potential further steps towards the modernization of Ukraine’s coal and energy sectors, international and local experts of the conference concluded that successful implementation of the Action Plan of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine on the restructuring of the coal sector requires a more fruitful, transparent and coordinated cooperation between the Ministry, regional and local authorities, trade unions, NGOs, scientists, and business. In particular, this envisages the efforts to be made by the Ministry towards the engagement in the CRiTP, including the implementation of the modern experience of restructuring and introduction of clean technologies in coal regions that are the most suitable for the situation in Ukraine.

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