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Metinvest: Avdiivka Coking Plant beyond repair due to Russian attacks

Its largest consumers of coke were Azovstal and Illich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol, which are not expected to resume operations in the foreseeable future.
Avdiivka Coke Plant under Russian bombardment in early December. Photo: screenshot from a social media video
Metinvest: Avdiivka Coking Plant beyond repair due to Russian attacks

Ukraine’s Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant in eastern Ukraine, once a major hub for metallurgical coke production, has been in ruins following Russian attacks, according to Metinvest CEO Yurii Ryzhenkov, who said it in an interview with Forbes.

“The plant is under the control of the Ukrainian army. It was repeatedly shelled by Russia. They fired at it with everything they had. I think it will be impossible to restore the plant,” Ryzhenkov believes.

With about 7,000 employees before the all-out war, the Avdiivka Coking Plant in the town of Avdiivka northwest of the regional capital, Donetsk, was a vital part of the Metinvest Group, which runs the mining and metals business of the SCM Group of Ukrainian businessman and politician Rinat Akhmetov.

After the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian forces targeted the plant several times. Months ago, Russia unleashed a large-scale offensive trying to encircle and overrun Avdiivka. The coking plant became one of the major Ukrainian strongholds northeast of the city. 

Restoration prospects

Ryzhenkov expressed grim optimism about the possibility of the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant reconstruction, stating that the plant’s pre-war state might never be restored.

The facility was crucial in supplying various industries, including Ukrainian enterprises and companies in Russia, Moldova, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Türkiye, Egypt, and others, as per Liga.

The Avdiivka Coke Plant OJSC (AKKhZ) was Ukraine’s largest coking plant. Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, it produced more than 30 types of products, the main one being coke for metallurgy. The enterprise accounted for up to 20% of the country’s blast furnace coke output. In 2007, the plant produced over 3 million tons of coke.

The largest consumers of the Avdiivka coke were Azovstal and Illich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol, which are not expected to resume production in the foreseeable future “until we return to Mariupol.”

At the same time, Metinvest plans to rebuild Mariupol’s Azovstal, but it will be a completely different plant, Ryzhenkov says. In his opinion, after the war is over, the steel industry will remain part of Mariupol, but it will no longer be its backbone.

The ongoing war has taken a severe toll on Metinvest’s assets, with at least 70 enterprises of the Group sustaining damage from the hostilities. Forbes estimated Akhmetov’s losses at $8.8 billion since the start of the full-scale war.

Back in April, Metinvest owner Rinat Akhmetov announced the initiation of an arbitration process against Russia, aiming to seek compensation for damages inflicted on him during the period between 2014 and 2017.

During that period, the Russian-run quasi-states of Luhansk and Donetsk “people’s republics” seized multiple assets belonging to Akhmetov-owned business groups in the Russian-occupied territory, including multiple coal mines, coal-treatment plants, iron works, energy companies, telecom companies, and many other assets, including the Shakhtar Arena stadium in central Donetsk.  

What assets did Russia’s puppet republics seize from Ukraine? Full list

Akhmetov is seeking redress from the aggressor country for losses incurred as a result of the intervention in his business activities, expropriation of assets, and investment by terrorist groups “DNR” and “LNR” and are under the control or direction of Russia.

The full-scale invasion of Russia destroyed more Akhmetov-linked industrial assets such as the Avdiivka Coke plant, and Mariupol’s Azovstal and Illich MMK steel works.


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