The main coke plant of Ukraine’s largest steel producer, Metinvest, is on the verge of halting output after heavy shelling overnight damaged power lines, the company said.
Three of four high-voltage lines at the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Works in government-held territory in the separatist east were hit in the attack, which also damaged the plant’s rail network, Metinvest said in a statement.
“Damage to the high-voltage connection points has put the plant on the verge of stopping (production) entirely”, it said, adding there were no casualties as a result of the shelling.
The plant, which once produced 40% of Ukraine’s coke, has repeatedly come under attack since pro-Russian separatists took up arms against the government last year.
Any production outages at the coke plant will threaten output at Ukraine’s steel plants, including two of the largest in Mariupol.
Metinvest said it was not able to receive raw materials or ship out finished product due to the latest shelling and did not give a timeframe for repair work.
The plant halted production in May after being hit by shelling, but resumed production around a week later.
Seven of the company’s workers have been killed in attacks on the plant since the start of the conflict in April 2014. (https://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL5N10F1MZ20150804/Ukrainian Metal)