Seven companies in Ukraine fined $28 million for high coal prices

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) found several state and private companies to be in violation of competition law in setting coal prices and fined them a total of UAH 775 million ($27.7 million). This was reported on April 29 on the AMCU’s website.

In a statement, the committee said that some participants in the market of steam coal on the recommendation of the Ministry of Energy synchronously raised prices from 2016 to 2019.

“In this case, the Ministry of Energy had no authority to recommend the level of price caps. After all, in Ukraine, the sale of steam coal is carried out on market conditions,” – noted in the AMCU.

Also published on the website is a list of violators, including state enterprises Derzhvuglepostach and Centrenergo, as well as a number of private companies, including those from Rinat Akhmetov’s group DTEK. According to the AMCU, the companies set similar prices for coal, which led to restriction of competition in the electricity generation market. At the same time, there were no objective reasons for such actions on the market.

According to the AMCU’s State Commissioner Sergiy Tyshchyk, the penalties amounted to UAH 775 mln, in particular, for Akhmetov’s companies – UAH 536 mln (almost $19 mln). It is noted that the largest fine should be paid by Centrenerho – 205 million hryvnyas ($7.4 million).

On February 6, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal announced the program of Ukraine to abandon coal until 2030.

On 25 January, Ukrenergo chief dispatcher Vitaliy Zaichenko said that coal reserves in the warehouses of Ukrainian thermal power plants in Ukraine have fallen to a historic low (455,000 tons), which does not provide guarantees for the country’s energy security.