Ukraine’s state energy company, Ukrenergo, said Friday it will create a ‘strategic’ stockpile of coal that will help see the country through the coming winter.

It has provided Ukrvugilya state coal-mining company an interest-free loan worth of 2,5 billion hryvnas.

The coal stockpile is set to provide for ‘uninterrupted’ energy supplies to the Ukrainian military, households, hospitals, and utility companies.

According to the governmental plan, the coal contracts may also help to prop up struggling  Ukrainian mining companies.

‘The priority will be given to domestic coal to help Ukrainian miners,’ said Ukrenergo in a statement announcing the move.

Meanwhile, all coal supplies to power-generating companies will need to be green-lit by Ukraine’s energy ministry. The directive assumes coal customers will stick to the approved energy balance quotes and coal accumulation schedules for 2022/23 while Ukrvuhilya will have to  pay off the loan by June 1, 2023.

Ukrenergo said it is busy getting ready the energy supply systems for the coming winter, which comes as a challenging task this year due to ongoing combat in several Ukrainian regions.

’41 main high-voltage line and 13 substations, which were damaged by Russian aggressors, have already been restored. It has secured robust energy supplies to more than 6 million customers.’