The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) recognized several state and private companies as violators of competition law when setting coal prices and punished them with fines totaling UAH 775 million ($ 27.7 million). This was reported on April 29 on the AMCU website.
The committee said in a statement that some participants in the thermal coal market, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Energy, simultaneously raised prices between 2016 and 2019.
“In this case, the Ministry of Energy did not have the authority to recommend the level of maximum prices. Indeed, in Ukraine, the sale of thermal coal is carried out on market conditions, ”the AMCU noted.
The website also publishes a list of violators, including the state-owned enterprises Derzhvuglepostach and Centerenergo, as well as a number of private companies, including those from Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK group. According to the AMCU, the enterprises set similar prices for coal, which led to limited competition in the electricity generation market. At the same time, there were no objective reasons on the market for such actions.
As stated by the State Commissioner of the AMCU Sergei Tishchik, the fines amounted to 775 million hryvnia, in particular for Akhmetov’s companies – 536 million hryvnia (almost $ 19 million). It is noted that the largest fine must be paid by the company “Centrenergo” – 205 million hryvnia ($ 7.4 million).
On February 6, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmyhal announced Ukraine’s program to phase out coal until 2030.
On January 25, the chief dispatcher of Ukrenergo, Vitaliy Zaichenko, said that coal reserves in the warehouses of Ukrainian thermal power plants in Ukraine had fallen to a historic low (455,000 tons), which does not guarantee the country’s energy security.