28 May 2024 10:21

Ukraine's largest manganese ore producer pessimistic about restarting production due to energy shortage

MOSCOW. May 28 (Interfax) - Pokrovsky GOK (PGOK), Ukraine's largest manganese ore producer does not see any prospects for restarting operations due to problems with power supplies, Ukrainian media reported, citing the company's newspaper.

PGOK (formerly Ordzhonikidzevsky GOK), which suspended manganese ore mining last fall, cannot fully resume operations due to the shortage of electricity and its high cost for industry, so it will remain idle, PGOK's chief power engineer, Pavel Litun said.

The company has been subject to scheduled electricity restrictions for over a month and they are gradually worsening. "The main reason is the critical shortage of generation in our grids, and their very poor technical condition due to damage to electricity transmission equipment," Litun was quoted as saying.

"Now, when all production facilities are shut down, PGOK uses about 2 million kW of electricity due to the operation of drainage systems, security posts, other workplaces, as well as the scrap preparation division [...] We are trying to get out of the situation by providing services to outside organizations and selling scrap metal that we recover from equipment that will no longer be used," Litun said.

He said PGOK uses reserve power provided by stoves and diesel and gasoline generators. The company is considering acquiring more generators and looking into building alternative energy sources.

"Wind power is inefficient in our latitudes. But solar power, on the other hand, is a project we began to implement at the beginning of April. We studied the experience of other businesses and decided to try ourselves. We expect that by September we'll build a solar farm with capacity of 1 MW," Litun said.

PGOK shut down its main production operations last November 1 due to a steep increase in electricity costs, supply chain disruptions, lack of water due to the destruction of the Kakhovskaya dam and equipment failures.

Ukraine's second largest manganese producer, Marganetsky GOK (MGOK) has also suspended ore mining and processing. The main customers for this produce, Ukraine's ferroalloy plants, are not operating.