Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Valerii Voschevskyi has announced at a roundtable that a ship carrying South African coal is currently being unloaded at the Ilyichevsk port, the TASS news agency reports.

"The first boat is already being unloaded today at the Ilyichevsk port, 80,000 tons, South African coal, the price of USD 65 [per ton], " Voschevskyi said.

The deputy prime minister did not disclose the buyer of the coal or the company that imported it. The delivery conditions included in the stated price were also not disclosed.

According to Voschevskyi, "purchase of additional quantities is on the agenda."

Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on 1 August that South Africa has coal that is usable in the Ukrainian power industry.

"There were many questions about the quality of coal from South Africa during the past heating season, but coal of the quality needed by Ukraine exists there... We have seen the deliveries, they took place and they are taking place, and coal is currently being purchased from South Africa. The less the politics and the more the economics involved in these issues, the quicker we will prepare for the heating season," he said.

He did not disclose the quantity of coal required, but he did state the amount of funds required for its purchase. "We need USD 200 million," the deputy minister said, adding that the State Savings Bank (Oschadbank) has already provided about USD 94.5 million for these needs.

According to the Interfax Ukraine news agency, the head of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine, Mykhailo Volynets, who was present at the roundtable, said that a tender for supply of coal to Ukraine took place on 1 July and that suppliers from Poland, South Africa, Russia, and Australia participated in the tender.

Ukrainian coal miners offered coal at the price of UAH 1,116 per ton, Polish companies at UAH 1,300 per ton, South African companies at UAH 1,698 per ton, Russian companies at UAH 1,835 per ton, and Australian companies at UAH 1,865 per ton.