In “Centrenergo” they cooked up a scheme how to profit from the American coal

Power generating company “Centrenergo” is paying double price for the freight-forwarding services of the American coal belonging to a company associated with “coal industry overseer” Vitaliy Kropachev.

There is proof of that in ProZorro system database.

For instance, this year in June a tender was held for the freight-forwarding services of 700 thousand tons of imported coal in Ukrainian ports of the Black sea.

“Centrenergo” PJSC was the client announcing the tender, and “Ekskomservis” LLC was the company that won the tender. The total contract price equaled 156.73 million UAH, which means that it cost 8.5 USD per ton.

According to other members of this market surveyed by the “Ekonomichna Pravda”, this price is double the market price. According to other freight-forwarding companies, average price for the similar services in ports equals 4.2-5 USD per ton of coal.

Thus, after signing the contract with LLC “Ekskomservis”, the country has been paying extra 3.5-4.2 USD per every ton of coal.

Actually, it is not the first time when this newbie-company won tenders for freight-forwarding of quite large volumes of coal, every time setting double the market price.

“Ekskomservis” won their first tender for freight-forwarding of the imported coal held by “Centrenergo” as far back as May of 2016, having beaten its competitors by just 1 %. At the time the freight forwarding cost 284 UAH or 11.24 USD per ton.

Then in August of 2016 “Ekskomservis” signed another contract with “Centrenergo” for freight forwarding of 640 tons of imported coal at the price 143.04 million UAH, which meant 8.7 USD per ton.

The company “Ekskomservis” has belonged to Bohdan Shtonda who comes from Vinnytsia region since 2011. Founders of the company were Hennadiy Pniushkov and Svitlana Shamraieva. Before Mr. Shtonda worked at “Ukrzernotans-K” LLC, co-founder of which used to be MP Ruslan Solvar.

“Zhadkiv Labradorite” LLC also belongs to Mr. Shtonda.

However, a few of “Ekonomichna Pravda” sources including freight-forwarders and the Ministry of Infrastructure, confirmed, that at the moment “Ekskomservis” is being used by the coal businessman Vitaliy Kropachev, protégé of Ihor Kononenko.

Mr. Kropachev is the former member of Donetsk region council, a native of Torez businessman, owner of large coal logistic companies. He also became owner of three coal-processing factories of Oleksandr Yanukovych – “Ukraina”, “Komsomolska” and “Rosiia”, also in December of 2016 he was going to buy “Lvivska Vuhilna Companiia” (Lviv Coal Company) Public JSC, which includes coal cleaning factory “Chervonohradska”.

In Donetsk region Mr. Kropachev is known as founder of the volunteer battalions “Ukraine”, later “Shakhtarsk” and “Tornado”.

When talking to “Ekonomichna Pravda” Journalist, Vitaliy Kropachev denied his involvement with the company “Ekskomservis”.

“Ekonomichna Pravda” has previously noted that the contract between “Centrenergo” and “XCoal” on purchase of coal at 113 USD per ton is significantly higher than what the other companies import coal for.

For comparison, power holding “DTEK” owned by businessman Rynat Akhmetov, buys coal from his mining operation from Russia at 95 USD per ton including its delivery to Ukrainian thermal power generating stations.

As for the coal imported from as far as the South-African Republic, it cost “DTEK” about 100 USD per ton.

It is noted that 113 USD per ton is just the cost of the first batch of coal, it is not fixed and may change.

Yanina Korniyenko, 20 Aug., “Ekonomichna Pravda”

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