The Chervonozavodskiy District Court of Kharkiv granted the Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor's Office access to documents and contracts from the state-owned Centrenergo company regarding the import of Donbas contraband coal from Russia under the guise of South African coal, as reported by the news website Liga.net, citing the court's decisions on October 2nd – 5th.
Criminal proceedings regarding the illegal coal operations began in April 2017 in accordance with the "Abuse of power or official position" section of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
According to the court decisions, officials at the Kharkiv-Tsentralny customs offoce have been obtaining an illegal profit since November 2015 to clear coal mined in the separatist-held territories through customs, under the guise of Russian or South African coal. This coal was intended, in particular, for Centrenergo.
Several companies, including state ones, assisted in making these transactions, became the subjects of journalistic investigations. They include the Resurs Trading House, the State Foreign Trade Company, Ukrinterenergo, the Krasnolimanskaya coal company, the State Coal Company, and Centrenergo.
These companies, according to the investigation, purchased (and supplied) coal illegally exported from the separatist-held territories under contracts with Соrtех Sales Limited (Hong Kong), Sovewisk Nolding Limited, Arida Global Limited (Hong Kong), RZD Logistics, and Rusneftedobycha LLC (Moscow).
Centrenergo operates three thermal power plants: Vuhlehirska (Donetsk region), Zmiyivska (Kharkiv region), and Trypilska (Kyiv region). The total power capacity of the TPP is 7,660 MW, which is about 14% of the total power capacity of Ukraine.