Akhmetov’s DTEK fined Hr 5.1 million for deliberately cutting coal supplies
Ukraine’s state energy regulator has imposed the maximum possible fines on three subsidiaries of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest energy company owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.
The National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC) fined three DTEK companies: DTEK Zakhidenergo, DTEK Dniproenergo and DTEK Vostokenergo. The amount of each fine is Hr 1.7 million ($61,000), the maximum possible fine according to the law.
The reason for the fines according to the commission lies in DTEK’s failure to provide guaranteed coal reserves to thermal power plants (TPPs) in winter and failure to notify the Ministry of Energy, Ukrenergo and NEURC about the critical fuel situation.
DTEK has denied the claim in its official statement on March 10 and said it is planning to appeal.
DTEK blames NEURC for the crisis, claiming that the critical fuel situation is a “consequence of the incompetence of the regulator, manipulations in the market, selective application of European norms and direct administrative interference in the operation of the market.”
Valery Tarasyuk, chairman of NEURC, doesn’t seem to agree. In the regulator’s statement, he said that “such glaring violations, which have led to a situation where the whole country is at risk of disconnection from the power supply, deserve the most severe penalties.”
Following audits of the companies, NEURC also noticed an atypical increase in emergency shutdowns of the thermal plants’ power units during the coldest period of winter, as well as low volumes of coal supplies to them.
More specifically, DTEK Trading and D.Trading International supplied 940,000 tons of coal to Zakhidenergo power plants in December 2020–January 2021, which is 27.2% less than the contracted 1.3 million tons.
Similar fuel supply delays were observed at DTEK Dneproenergo and DTEK Vostokenergo.
Tarasyuk said that NEURC considers this to be a matter of “national security” and is forwarding the issue to the National Security and Defense Council for further review.
He said that they will also send the audits’ results to the Anti-Monopoly Committee to conduct an investigation of how DTEK, “which has all the signs of a monopoly position in the coal and thermal generation markets, behaves in these markets.” NEURC will also send its findings to the Ministry of Energy.