????Ukraine has cut its consumption of anthracite coal by almost 63% in the past two years in reaction to seizing of its coal mining assets by pro-Russian rebels, the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry reported Tuesday.
????Ukraine used 3.9 million mt of anthracite by its fossil fuel-burning power plants in 2018 compared with 10.5 million mt in 2016, the ministry reported.
????The figures underscore the government's strategy to reduce reliance on anthracite, a type of coal with the highest calorific content, in reaction to military conflict with Russia-backed rebels since 2014.
????As the conflict expanded, Ukraine lost all of its anthracite-producing assets in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, prompting the government to start upgrading power units for use of thermal coal, which is abundantly available in other parts of the country.
????TsentrEnergo, one of the country's largest fossil fuel-burning power generating companies controlled by the government, upgraded its units and will not use any anthracite in 2019, the ministry said.
????TsentrEnergo used 400,000 mt of anthracite in 2018, down from 800,000 mt in 2017 and 2.2 million mt in 2016.
????"The work to replace anthracite with thermal coal began in May 2016," the ministry said in a statement.
????Private power generating firms followed suit and also upgraded their units for use of thermal coal. DTEK, the largest privately-held power generating company, replaced 1.3 million mt of anthracite burning capacity with thermal coal over the past two years, the ministry reported.
????Ukraine reduced coal output 4.7% on the year to 33.3 million mt in 2018, according to the ministry.