Ukraine faces heating cuts as fuel crisis worsens – media
Several regions of Ukraine are facing heating cuts due to critically low fuel reserves at thermal power plants, the Kiev-based weekly newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli claimed on Thursday, citing a report by the country’s Security Service.
According to the publication, the SBU sent the Ukrainian government a report on the state of critical infrastructure facilities in the electricity sector and concluded that many power plants may run out of coal in the near future.
The report matches warnings by Yury Vitrenko, the head of Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, who also warned on Thursday that coal reserves are critically low.
However, according to the Ukrainian outlet, the SBU has warned that “entire regions are at risk of a lack of heating.” For example, the Slavyanska thermal power plant in the east of the country currently has coal reserves that are 50 times below the norm. This has led to fears that the situation could lead to “man-made emergencies, increased social tension among the population and discrediting the state authorities.”
According to Vitrenko, Ukraine still has a steady flow of imported coal from other countries, which should help replenish stocks. On Thursday, two Panamax-class cargo ships carrying the fuel arrived from the US and Colombia.
Earlier this year, Ukrainian MP Mikhail Volynets bizarrely suggested that Ukrainians should take matters into their own hands by collecting manure because the fuel shortage may get so bad that it will be the best way to keep houses warm.