24 May 2022 15:35

Artyomsol, Central and Eastern Europe's leading salt producer, ceases operations

KYIV. May 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) - The state-owned enterprise Artyomsol (Soledar, Donetsk region), the largest salt producer in Central and Eastern Europe, has ceased operations, and there are no plans thus far to resume production.

"The enterprise is not operating, it is idling indefinitely, as per an order. The shelling is constant and the administrative building has been partially destroyed. There were direct hits on the mines, the materials warehouse. The production process is impossible," Viktor Yurin, the acting director of the state enterprise, told Ukraine's Free Radio.

Artyomsol ceased operations in April due to the shutdown of the railroad in the region, Yurin said, with all stocks available for delivery shipped to retail chains last month.

"Our hub station of Sil, where we pulled up train cars from our access railways, is being shelled regularly. Artyomsol is mainly focused on shipment of products by rail. We can export only a small part of it by truck," the acting head of the company said.

Due to the stoppage at the enterprise, Ukraine will have to import more salt from abroad, Yurin said. "In order for salt to be sold, it has to be produced. I'm sure some stores carry our salt. I've seen it in Kyiv, in Vinnitsa. But Turkish, Romanian salt has also appeared. While fighting is ongoing, we will have to replace our salt with imported salt," he said.

Artyomsol previously fully covered Ukraine's need for salt.

More expensive types of salt (fine iodized, pink salt, etc.) were imported.

In 2021, the Artyomsol state enterprise produced, processed and shipped 1.9 million tonnes of salt to consumers, up 60% from 2020. At the same time, the share of exports in total shipments rose to 39.5% (744,200 tonnes) from 28.3% (336,600 tonnes) a year earlier.