© page Aleksandra Zakharova
Around the port of Odessa there’s a new scandal, this time coal. Ukraine is experiencing a shortage of coal for the heating season in full growth is the export of coal from the Odessa sea port. The peculiarities of the coal business in Ukrainian versed edition Ukraine.ru
In early September, on the promenade near the Potemkin stairs was a rally of activists of public organization “Information center “Green dossier”, demanding to stop handling dusty cargoes of iron ore concentrate and coal in the port of Odessa.
“We demand that the authorities of supervision and control, in particular the Ministry of health of Ukraine, held a special test and found out what right at the port are dangerous from the environmental point of view the operation, we also prepared an appeal to the regional Prosecutor’s office — Prosecutor responsible for nature protection, who is obliged to exercise supervision over compliance with legislation”, — said the activists.
Attention “Green dossier”, whose head office is located in Kiev, to Odessa port is quite amazing. Previously, this typically grantoedskogo structure, which since 1994 has been involved with ecology and green energy, in the Odessa region were not showing themselves. And suddenly he found means to rally in Odessa, which became the detonator of a new information campaign against Akhmeta DTEK group. Information about surprisingly quickly picked up in local politics.
The next day after the rally, the Deputy of the Odessa city Council Alexander Zakharov burst into an angry post in Facebook, urging them to investigate the activities of “port ofshornikov” and promised to forward requests to the port and the Prosecutor.
Surprisingly another — an angry post Odessa MP was instantly picked up by the Ukrainian Internet resources and hit the headlines, after just one hour after publication. A similar reaction of the Ukrainian media, normally indifferent to the environment, the more peripheral Odessa is striking in its efficiency.
Not less prompt was the reaction of the Administrations of seaports of Ukraine (ASD) to those statements. Already on 20 September, the port authority issued a statement that transshipment of iron ore concentrate at the port of Odessa is “Metalsukrain Korp. LTD”, with the owners of the offshore company, in compliance with sanitary norms and under strict environmental control.
Any logical continuation of this story has not received and would have stayed in the past, if not for the interview of the Minister of infrastructure of Ukraine Vladislav Cricle about the bright future of the concession of the port of Odessa. The Minister also stated that no ore and grain in the port shouldn’t be. Indeed, in the port of Odessa, there can be no ore, there’s coal which is exported, but about all under the order.
The events that were the stimulus for the hired environmental community, turned in June of this year in the Quarantine Harbor of Odessa port. With the help of the stevedore’s “Metalsukrain Korp. LTD” renting power port, two bulk carrier LUMINOUS NOVA (Marshall Islands flag) and DK IONE (flag of Panama) is regularly loaded at the port breed of black color. The operator of these vessels is “Portinvest logistic” and agent of “Metinvest shipping”. Both companies are under the control of DTEK Rinat Akhmetov. According to the official information of the port and according to the service marinetraffic.com the cargo of the ships were iron ore concentrate, and the destination port Oran (Algeria). To the uninitiated in the geography, Geology and materials science activists and local politicians such legend may ride, but not for experts.
Tales for activists
First, iron ore is of a totally different color than the mineral on the photo: depending on the concentration of iron oxide, its colour varies from dark grey to red-brown. It’s never blue-black as in the photo. Secondly, the most important fact, failed the legend “Portinvest logistic” on exported iron ore concentrate, has become a country of destination — Algeria. It is very surprising that the Minister of infrastructure of Ukraine, which is in the power position needs to understand the geography, knows that Algeria’s reserves of iron ore is in second place in Africa and actively developing, which even attracted Chinese investors. Therefore, to sell iron ore in Algeria — as pointless as selling ice in Antarctica, this is the tale for illiterate activists. Own raw materials for metallurgy Algeria lacking in abundance.
But with coal from the steel industry of Algeria big problems. Of the coal required for smelting of iron and steel, and maintenance of thermal power plants in Algeria produced very little, so the Ukraine to the events of 2014, successfully supplying coal to this country. Apparently delivers now, but by gray schemes. Coal the identity of the cargo ship DK IONE and LUMINOUS NOVA author also confirmed its own source in the port: “I have thirty years working in the port of Odessa and can in appearance to distinguish the pellet from coal. What is in the Quarantine harbour, is the purest anthracite Donetsk, not pellet,” — said on condition of anonymity the employee of port.
Gray scheme of black coal
DTEK, not reconciled to the loss of the ability to legally sell coal from the mines remaining in the territories LDNR continued to do this after 2014, but under grey schemes. In 2015, the activities of “Portinvest logistic” interested in the SBU. In July 2015 the investigative Department of management of SBU in Odessa region opened a criminal case on the fact of legalization of the coal mined in the territories of national republics. The company, according to the investigation, carried out freight forwarding of coal mined in the occupied part of the Donetsk region, owned by Akhmetov on mine “Dolzhansky capital”.
The SBU found that the coal exported through Ukrainian-controlled border areas in Russia and registered as the property of Russian companies JSC “Shakhtoupravleniye Obukhovskaya (controlled by Akhmetov), OOO “alpha Partner”, OOO “TRANS Terminal”, LLC “Binom D”, JSC “Rostov port”, LLC “Yuzhtrans”. The coal then went by rail from warehouses in Rostov region in the state enterprise “Izmail sea trading port” in the customs regime “transit”, and then exported sea (river) transport, to the actual recipients in the EU.
SBU has appointed examination of the seized coal, but it was not carried out because the expert and the investigator said it was impossible to take samples of the coal required for its implementation, in the layers of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are controlled by DND and LNR. As a result, the arrest of the property of “Portinvest logistic” was removed by the decision of seaside court of Odessa and the criminal case was dismissed. This helplessness of the SBU against Akhmetov is surprising, because in 2014 in respect of the Rostov company “the alpha-the partner”, the Ukrainian state-owned coal chemical Institute was successfully conducted the examination, which proved that the coal, declared, as a Russian, in fact, was produced at the mine “Dolzhanskaya-Capital” in the Luhansk region owned by the company “DTEK Sverdlovantratsit”. That is, the decision samples of coal from the mines found. But not this time.
It is unknown how much cost Akhmetov loyalty from the SBU, but, creating such a precedent, Akhmetov has eliminated the last legal obstacle in the way of coal mining with LDNR. Later, the DTEK added problems of an economic blockade of Donbass, initiated in 2017, the former people’s Deputy semen Semenchenko (according to some, who was the representative of the oligarch Kolomoyskiy in the Parliament, that is representative of the old enemy Akhmetov).
But this situation Akhmetov has found a way out. In 2018 Belarus 980-fold increase in coal exports to Ukraine — up to 690 000 tonnes, despite the fact that the country does not have its deposits except lignite. No other explanation, except the export of coal from LDNR, this situation does not exist. As in the case of the Belarusian mussels, Minsk once again became a convenient transit country for prohibited goods, but for Ukraine.
To cover its needs in fuel, power plants of Ukraine, mostly belong to DTEK, are forced to buy coal abroad. Since the purchase of coal on the Rotterdam stock exchange under the “Rotterdam plus” — not cheap, smuggling Luhansk coal for the Ukrainian thermal power plants is a very profitable business. Raised tariffs on electricity and heating bring Ukrainian oligarchs of super-profits from burning cheap Donetsk fuel. And the excess is formed due to the imposed buy American, South African and Colombian coal are exported to third countries, again covering the costs of Rotterdam, as it was in the port of Izmail. As Izmail port already could not satisfy the ambitions of “Portinvest logistic” supply large consignments of coal in Algeria, this scheme was transferred to the port of Odessa, where it is possible to work with large bulk carriers.
Despite the fact that at the beginning of the heating season, Ukraine is in dire need of coal, and the cost of imported coal is almost two times more than the coal of the Donbas, oligarchs, exporting cheap coal from countries that continue to profit at the expense of their fellow citizens paying the full cost of expensive imported coal. The system of political absurdity, the current due to the reluctance of Kiev authorities to talk with its citizens living in the Donbass, caused a huge amount of imaginary problems, to pay for accounting for ordinary Ukrainians.
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