12:41 31.01.2017

Coke Plant using coke gas to heat Avdiyivka, hopes natural gas and power supply restores

Metinvest Group's Avdiyivka Coke Plant in the Donetsk region suspended operation amid a blackout caused by the hostilities but managed to maintain autonomous power generation for the plant and to heat Avdiyivka with coke gas.

"As of 8:30 a.m. we managed to maintain power generation and to heat the city with coke gas; we are waiting for natural gas supply in order to do this further. A truce has been promised starting at 10 a.m. so that the power transmission line can be repaired, but tensions and noise persist and [shells] are still hitting the city," Avdiyivka Coke Plant General Director Musa Magomedov said on Facebook on Tuesday.

The plant is trying to continue power generation and to heat water for the population till the morning despite a severe shortage of coke gas, the general director said in the small hours of Tuesday. The third and fourth coke workshops were mothballed but it would take a lot of natural gas to keep the coke batteries warm and to heat the city.

"Like in February in 2014, we need approximately 18,000 cubic meters per hour to save Avdiyivka and the Avdiyivka Coke Plant and to prevent a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe," Magomedov said.

The Ukrainian army and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) have been exchanging intensive artillery fire in the Avdiyivka area for the past two days. The city suffered a blackout on Sunday.

The Avdiyivka Coke Plant is the largest enterprise of its kind in Europe. It manufactures 31 types of products, mostly coke for metallurgical purposes. The products are supplied to Ukrainian enterprises and are exported. The plant accounts for 23% of the Ukrainian market of bulk coke.

The plant has suspended operation 13 times since the hostilities began in 2014. It has experienced multiple massive attacks. Over 320 shells have been fired on its territory; nine workers have been killed and over 50 have been wounded.

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