Coal stockpiles at Ukrainian power plants have dropped ‘below the required seasonal minimum’, admitted energy ministry Wednesday.

Current inventory of coal stands at 451 thousand tons that marks some 20% uptick compared to alarming November figures.

With inventories hitting lows, state energy regulator warned it is going to fine power plants that are failing to secure ‘guaranteed’ coal stockpiles, provisioned by license agreements.

The latest report shows that daily coal consumption averages at almost one in two of domestic power plants are now exceeding their daily coal supplies with Burshtyn and Vuglegirsk power plants reporting the lowest coal inventories. Burshtyn power plant coal stockpile has plunged to  25,5 thousand tons against required 161 thousand tons while Vuglegirsk power station  hangs onto 10 thousand tons against 77.6 thousand tons it needs.

As power plants are scrambling to secure coal supplies, Ukrainian officials are trying to play down the energy shortages. Despite sporadic outages and few cold radiators  that are ‘exceptions’,  the country faces ‘no deficit’ of energy, said Zelensky last week.