Coal for Ukraine: how the trump threw Russia a new challenge

Ukraine continues a policy of diversification of energy supplies. The head of the White house Donald trump officially announced that the US is ready to put “millions and millions of tons of coal.” The first batch should arrive in a month.

What does this change for Ukraine, are there any pitfalls, and how States will achieve energy dominance — understood “Observer”.

The largest supplier of

After the start of the conflict in the Donbass Ukraine began to experience a shortage of coal, particularly anthracite. The problem is even more topical because of the blockade ORDO. In winter it became known that Kiev is in substantive negotiations with the United States on the purchase of one million tons. However, after a visit to Washington, Poroshenko said that an agreement on the purchase of two million Pennsylvania coal.

Acting head Ukrenergo Vsevolod Kovalchuk has announced the arrival of the first 120 thousand tons to Aug. However, now the States is one of the largest suppliers of coal to Ukraine. According to the State fiscal service in January-may of 2017, the main exporters are Russia (52%), USA (25.5 percent) and Canada (7%). The remaining of 17.33% are Kazakhstan, Poland, South Africa and Australia.

According to Poroshenko, purchases of coal from US will be at competitive prices. However, if we look at the statistics of last year, coal from the States bypassing Ukraine still slightly more expensive than South Africa. The head of “Centrenergo” Oleg Kosenko confirmed that the price of the product is probably “slightly higher”. However, energoekspert, a former member of the National Commission of regulation of energy and utilities Andriy Gerus in conversation with us stressed that if the coal “high-calorie”, a higher price is normal. Don’t forget that on the quality of South African coal is not just any question.

Russia’s Reaction

In the context of the recent agreement with the United States a key aspect is the diversification of supplies in the direction of less dependence on Russia. Moscow predictably negative view of U.S.-Ukrainian agreement. For example, the Vice-President of the economic policy Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Valery Vasiliev called the supply of coal from the United States a purely “political decision” and even “ignoring the Minsk agreements”. The reference to the “Minsk”, of course, is absurd — about the coal in the agreements was not a word.

Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman says that at the moment none of the state-owned company does not buy coal in the country-the aggressor, but the holding DTEK, which controls 76% of the market of thermal generation and 27% of the total, last month announced the expansion of the supply of anthracite from Russia. The fact that the situation with coal scarce group consistently difficult. Now in warehouses of TPP reserves are only 636 thousand tons. Until the end of the year, the country must purchase an additional 4.2 million tons of anthracite. And the lion’s share of official Kiev is going to have just from the United States. In addition, the energy Ministry is hoping for Kazakh coal.

The government plans in two years and not to refuse of anthracite, replacing it with a gas panel, and to a greater extent its own production. The task was perhaps too ambitious, but the decrease in the share of scarce coal do gradually seen. If in the foreseeable future, will rid itself of anthracite dependency, this will be a major step towards energy independence from Russia.

Energy dominance States

Coal agreement with the United States it is necessary to look more broadly. Announcing deliveries to Ukraine, at the same time, trump warned that the US is starting the implementation of a policy of energy dominance. The ground for it was prepared by the removal of restrictions on oil and gas, and climate demarche.

Energy enthusiasm the administration of the tramp — a very poor signal to Moscow. The US President admits that will advance liquefied natural gas in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which are now dependent on Russian energy.

The Minister of energy of the USA Rick Perry is even more straightforward in this matter. In fact, he admits that States are focused on energy confrontation with Russia. According to Perry, Washington can enlist the support of allies, being able to supply energy to the countries that are hostage of Moscow.

The U.S. administration on energy dominance probably won’t benefit the environment and U.S. relations with the European Union, which has its own tactics energy security. But at the same time strengthening States in the sphere of energy will inevitably lead to the weakening of the Russian Federation in this field, which will open for Ukraine a new window of opportunities.