The Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection has set for the near future a priority task of eliminating unprofitable state-owned mines, re-profiling miners, and creating new jobs for them, that’s according to Minister Oleksiy Orzhel.
Orzhel spoke of a “comprehensive program” worked out for each mine. “Unfortunately, there will be mines, which we have in our plan, that will have no prospects and should be eliminated.”
According to Orzhel, in Ukraine there are mines that have been in the process of liquidation for the past 18 years.
“We must find people new jobs and new opportunities for life. We will try to re-profile people. Certain arrangements have already been reached. I hope that in December, together with the World Bank, which has global experience in reforming the coal industry, we will launch the reform,” he said.
The minister noted that 3 million tons of coal produced by state-run mines could not cover wage costs.
“The state coal industry is a loss-making industry. Some 32,000 people work in the industry, with families of about 200,000 people whose problems we must solve. We must determine at the audit level and build a logic of when these state assets could be privatized or leased out under strict investment obligations,” he emphasized. (UNIAN/Ukrainian metal)