The coal industry should work smoothly and play its important part in stepping up the country's energy independence. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman issued this statement, commenting on the results of the government meeting with the participation of the leadership of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.
The Head of Government recalled that a week ago he set a concrete task - to shape a plan of immediate actions in order to bailout the coal industry.
"The decision was presented, which encapsulated uninterrupted salary payments to miners and necessary measures to increase extraction", the Prime Minister claimed.
Apart from that, Volodymyr Groysman emphasized that there is a need for investments in order to complete the tasks.
"Until September 1, the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry and the Minister personally (Ihor Nasalyk) should focus on seeking financial resources to boost production and ensure the proper activity of the industry. And this is the responsibility of the Ministry and the Minister. I stand ready to help to assert our energy independence," Volodymyr Groysman said.
There are currently 102 state-owned mines in Ukraine, but the vast majority are located in the area of the Joint Forces Operation. Operating outside of the aforesaid area are considered 33 mines. Of these, only 4 mines are profitable. During 5 months of the current year the volume of extraction amounted to 1 852.9 thousand tons. It is by 3.6% less than planned and by 7.6% less than during the corresponding period of 2017. Meanwhile, the cost of production increased by more than 30.5%, as compared to last year.
Commenting on the situation, the Head of Government has repeatedly emphasized that the industry require to address two important issues at once: to achieve break-even operation and modernization of production facilities, which would reduce the prime cost and increase the safety of work. The amount of budget support for mines exceeds UAH 1 billion annually. In mid-July, the Verkhovna Rada approved changes to the State Budget and allowed to allocate an additional UAH 1.4 billion for the needs of miners, primarily as part of paying arrears of wages.
In late July, the Prime Minister summoned a meeting devoted to the issues of coal mining and set a task to improve the situation."Within the framework of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry it is crucial to take clear, concrete decisions that will allow to pull the industry out of crisis. I have analyzed the situation and I can assure you it is possible. We should forget about miners banging their helmets when people complain about their wages. It is appropriate to hear the noise of production equipment working at the mining enterprises", the Head of Government claimed.