Ukraine's Coal Mines Face Shutdowns Due To Fighting In East: DTEK

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's coal-mining sector faces shutdowns and economic losses due to continued fighting with pro-Russian separatists in eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, DTEK, the country's largest mining and power group, said Sunday.

DTEK issued a statement a day after the separatists attacked its Komsomolets Donbassa, one of the largest coalmines in Ukraine, detaining the coal mine's top management and confiscating assets, including coalminers' monthly pay, 22 vehicles and office equipment.

More than a thousand of Komsomolets Donbassa coalminers took to the streets of Kirovsky, a city near Donetsk, on Sunday in protest against the attack.

They called on the separatists to lay down their arms and start peace talks with the government.

"The shutdown of strategically important businesses in the region, such as coalmines, is unacceptable," DTEK said in a statement.

"This will have a detrimental impact on all participants in the conflict."

The attack on the coalmine came a day after President Petro Poroshenko ordered a seven-day ceasefire in the fight.

He also warned the separatists that they would be "eliminated" if they did not use the time to put down their guns.

DTEK, which owns 31 coalmines and 13 coal enrichment plants, is the largest producer of coal in Ukraine.

The company produces both thermal coal, used by fossil-burning power generators and coking coal, which is used in steelmaking.

DTEK Komsomolets Donbassa Coalmine, which employs more than 5,000 workers, plans to produce around 4.4 million mt of coal in 2014, according to the company's website.

Komsomolets Donbassa produced about 4 million mt of coal in 2013, down from 4.5 million mt in 2012.

Source: PLATTS