Urgent Queensland coal shipment to assist Ukraine
AN AUSTRALIAN resources company has stepped up to supply a cargo of essential humanitarian aid to war-torn Ukraine -- thermal coal for vital electricity services.
Whitehaven Coal is supplying Ukraine with 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal to help keep the lights on and stave off freezing conditions, following an urgent request from the Australian Government.
The Australian Government is donating the shipment, worth close to $30 million, as part of its humanitarian response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane said council member Whitehaven Coal's shipment would be welcomed, following reports of civilians bunkering down in cities with no electricity and limited heating in bitterly cold conditions.
“I'd like to commend Whitehaven Coal for working so quickly with the Australian Government to provide access to a cargo of thermal coal, which isn’t easy at the moment because it’s in such high demand,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Whitehaven has also contributed $250,000 to the Australian Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal to help the people of Ukraine, so it’s wonderful to see such a heartfelt, local response to this unfolding and tragic situation.”
Mr Macfarlane said the war in Ukraine had shone a harsh spotlight on the strategic issue of energy security.
“The secure and consistent supply of electricity is essential to so many aspects of everyday life,” he said.
“With millions of displaced Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, it’s vital they still have access to electricity for heating, lighting and even for charging phones so they can stay in touch with family members around the world, including in Australia.”
Today’s announcement comes shortly after many Queensland resources companies dug deep to help people in flood-affected parts of the state by donating millions of dollars to relief efforts, Mr Macfarlane said.