Ukraine does not plan to buy coal from South Africa before the end of the current heating season because there is no shortage of coal on the domestic market and there are sufficient reserves in warehouses. Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Volodymyr Demchyshyn announced this in a statement, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"We will definitely not [buy coal from South Africa] until the end of the heating season," the minister told journalists in Kyiv on Tuesday, 9 February.

As reported, a bulk carrier carrying 79,000 tons of thermal coal from South Africa arrived at the Yuzhny seaport on 7 February. The previous shipload of 168,000 tons of coal arrived at this seaport on 5 December 2015.

The Coal is being delivered based on a bilateral agreement between the Centrenergo power company and the trading company Mercuria Energy Trading SA (Switzerland), which was concluded in September 2015.

Ukraine reduced imports of thermal coal from Russia by 69% to 628,000 tons in 2015, compared with 2014 year. At the same time, it increased import of thermal coal from South Africa 2.4-fold to 897,000 tons in 2015, compared with 2014. According to the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, demand for thermal coal reduced by 35% from 38 million tons to 27 million tons in 2015.

Coal reserves in the warehouses of power plants totaled 2.218 million tons as of 8 February, including 0.869 million tons of anthracite coal and 1.349 million tons of coals of the "G" and "D" brands.

Read more Another Bulker Carrying Coal Arrives At Yuzhny Port