Investors ready to support Dnipro river development

The EBRD and EIB intend to invest up to 50 million euro in the development of the Dnipro river as transport route. The institutions announced this yesterday at the conference ‘Dnipro as European Waterway’, hosted by the Netherlands embassy in Kyiv and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine. During the conference, taking its participants to the river on the boat ‘Silver Wave’, Ukrainian government representatives, members of parliament, international water experts, business and the International Financial Institutions (IFI) discussed the potential of the Dnipro river for transport.

‘With a booming agricultural industry, there is great challenge for the Ukrainian transport and logistics network to facilitate its potential. Ukraine has a unique asset which could allow it to become a strategic part of the European economy: the mighty Dnipro river,’ the Dutch Ambassador Kees Klompenhouwer said opening the conference. To which Mrs. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, added: “In addition to unloading roads and railways, the development of inland water transport will promote the ecologization of transportation by reducing road transport emissions. It is also one of the priorities of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.”

In order to identify the prerequisites to develop the river Dnipro for transport, the Ministry and Dutch Embassy started the ‘Dnipro Development Initiative’ in September 2016, after the US Army Corps of Engineers did a study of the locks. The EIB, EBRD and EU delegation were quick to join, doing different prefeasibility studies that potential investors will need in order to consider investments. Also the World Bank’s transport program for Ukraine is contributing.

Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Nadya Kaznacheeva, explained: “One of the projects was the study of the feasibility of implementing a public-private partnership in the port of Kherson and the development of the lower part of the Dnieper. The development of a pre-feasibility study, completed in late March 2017, was undertaken by international companies Royal Haskoning, Rebel Group and others with the support of the World Bank Group. Any development plan begins with an ambitious goal. Therefore, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Government of Ukraine have the goal: to create as soon as possible all necessary conditions for attracting private investors to the river and implementing the Dnipro River Development and other Inland Waterways Initiative “.

These studies are the stepping stone for investments in the river, that will boost the economy. In order to benefit in full and attract real investments, Ukraine needs to embrace the development of the river and make the necessary adjustments to the governance structure on the river.

“The priority tasks facing the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine are the adoption of the Law on Inland Water Transport, the introduction of norms and standards of the European Union on the rivers of Ukraine, dredging of rivers and sustainable financing for the maintenance of river infrastructure. These successive steps will allow Ukraine to increase the volume of freight, attract world investors to the development of the river infrastructure of Ukraine, which in turn will strengthen the country’s economy, “said Victor Dovhan, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine.

According to the experts from The Netherlands and the European Union, the river is indispensable in a healthy multimodal transport network for Ukraine. To keep in pace with the agribusiness and facilitate economic growth, infrastructure and logistics need to be modernized. This is recognized by businesses that are already investing in the river, but also by the IFI’s. Both are ready to invest in the river, as soon as the government develops the right river management structure.

The way to get there rests on a very simple principle: freedom of navigation and creating a level playing field between modes of transport. By setting the governance conditions right, Ukraine can unleash the market forces that will enable the technical improvements of the river infrastructure that are long overdue. This does mean however, that Ukraine first needs to invest in the river itself,’ Dutch experts point out.

Eventually the Dnipro river can even become part of the Trans European Transport system, E40 Rhine-Danube-Black Sea, A7 Dnipro, Pripyat, Baltic Sea. This idea was supported by Mr. Daniel Jacques, of the European Commission in Brussels. With support of the EU’s neighborhood policy and the implementation of the Association Agreement, Ukraine’s biggest river can meet the international standards of navigation. The Dnipro as part of the European infrastructure, is then more than an idea. It is a dot on the horizon.

Source: mtu.gov.ua

Ukrainian Railways plans five-year investment program

Ukraine’s state-owned JSC Ukrzaliznytsia railways operator has presented its five-year development strategy for 2017-21, which includes investment of UAH 130 billion to UAH 150 billion, and the formation of five business sectors: freight transport and logistics, passenger transport, infrastructure, traction services, manufacturing and services, according to the Railway Gazette.

In the freight sector, Ukrzaliznytsia plans to invest in the creation of intermodal terminals and logistics services with a target of growing its share of the container market from 29% to 45% in 2021. The passenger division will form six regional commuter-operating businesses in 2018, and a company to manage stations. The planned traction services company would be tasked with purchasing 250 new locomotives and modernizing the current fleet, the Railway Gazette reported. Read also Ukrzaliznytsia invited to mend railway tracks in Poland The 2017-21 rolling stock investment plan is worth UAH 108 billion, including UAH 87 billion for the purchase of 262 locomotives (UAH 36 billion), 35,773 wagons (UAH 31 billion), 440 coaches (UAH 9 billion) and 46 diesel and electric multiple-units (UAH 11 billion). The remaining UAH 22 billion would be used for the modernization of 403 freight, 212 passenger and 283 shunting locos as well as 57,510 wagons, 696

The 2017-21 rolling stock investment plan is worth UAH 108 billion, including UAH 87 billion for the purchase of 262 locomotives (UAH 36 billion), 35,773 wagons (UAH 31 billion), 440 coaches (UAH 9 billion) and 46 diesel and electric multiple-units (UAH 11 billion). The remaining UAH 22 billion would be used for the modernization of 403 freight, 212 passenger and 283 shunting locos as well as 57,510 wagons, 696 coaches and 430 multiple units. This would mean that at least half of the Ukrzaliznytsia fleet would be new or modernized, in contrast to the current situation where three-quarters of the fleet are in need of modernization or replacement.

Source: unian.info

UNIT.City: first Ukrainian innovation park

In recent years, Ukraine has been actively developing the innovation sphere, and Ukrainian start-ups and IT companies are known worldwide. According to IT companies, in 2016 the IT market amounted to $3 billion, which is 3.3% of Ukraine’s GDP in 2016. This area grows by 20,000 jobs annually. These growth rates can gradually match traditional Ukrainian industries like metallurgy and agriculture that will increase budget revenues. Ukraine has been discussing the launch of innovation parks for several years. One of the first has recently opened in Kyiv.

The first part of a large-scale project UNIT.City was presented on April 6 in Kyiv. It is expected to become the focus of the country’s creative economy.

The goal of the UNIT.City project is to combine educational, business, cultural, medical, sports and entertainment facilities in order to provide small and medium-sized innovation businesses with access to all infrastructures necessary for rapid development and expertise in one area.

Target audience

For the most part, companies that work in the areas of high technology, creative ideas and innovative business will be based here. That is, small Ukrainian and international food companies, R&D centers, start-ups and IT companies.

UNIT.City will help create up to 15,000 highly paid jobs, and provide talented youth with the opportunity of self-realizing in their country thus stopping “brain drain” in Ukraine.

Infrastructure

The total area of the future innovation park will be 25 hectares. The project resembles the famous campuses of Google, Apple and other Silicon Valley giants.

As of now, 4000 square meters have been used. Business campuses, sports complex and UNIT.Factory (free programming school), which is the main educational element of the park, are located there.

Business campuses will work in the format of club-offices (the company will use a small room, while meeting rooms and other spaces can be used by other companies).

Investors plan to build 31,000 square meters of business campuses, which will help create an entire innovation park. It is planned to invest 200 million dollars in the project within four years.

Sources: ain.ua and uacrisis.org (UCMC publishes an abridged version of AIN.UA article).

Photos: Olga Zakrevska

Ukraine may be on the doorstep of an electro-cars revolution

Amid post-revolution transformations, ongoing fight against corruption and the de facto war in Donbas, there is still a place for progress in Ukraine. At some questions, the country is even more successful than its Western neighbors. In the last few years, Ukraine has become a powerful IT hub. Recently the Forbes told about the country’s digital revolution which is silently taking hold in the form of almost unparalleled adoption of digital crypto-currencies. And now the development of electro-cars market can be added to Ukraine’s accomplishments.

InsideEVs, an outlet dedicated to electric vehicles around the world, gave Ukraine 5th place in the list of the Top EV countries. In it, Ukraine even went ahead of the US and Japan.

The researcher Assaf Oron publishes his rating for the third year in a row. The criteria for it are as follows:

  • 50% of it is sales (mostly market share, but volume and year-over-year change also mattered);
  • 30% production;
  • 15% for buses and 5% for policy/infrastructure.

Ukraine made it to the top due to local groups who made up for economic challenges by importing thousands of used EVs, which is surprising to the author:

“What would you do living in a country with $4,000 per capita GDP, which means that even at ~$150/kWh, new EVs are still priced out of your league? And no domestic auto industry either? Well, some Ukrainians got together, established a conveyor belt of used EVs (half of them Leafs) coming in from the West, lobbied for government support, and in 2016 things really flourished with > 2.5k sales, nearly all > 2-year-old used, jumping five-fold over 2015 and landing the global number four spot for market share.”

The author is also confident that Ukrainians’ motivation for developing in this direction is clear:

With its domineering enemy Russia being an oil power, the desire to punch Big Oil in the face (which I share, heartily) takes on a personal and immediate form in Ukraine.”

The development of Ukraine during the last year is huge.

“In 2015, only enthusiasts drove electric cars in Ukraine,” says Oleksandr Kravtsov, an owner of an electric car. In 2014 he and like-minded people brought one of the first EV’s to Ukraine. A year later, they drove from Kyiv to Monte Carlo in an international EV marathon. Since then, a mere hobby has grown into a business for Oleksandr. Now the enthusiasts own a salon and EV-specialized service stations.According to Oleksandr, if the government supports the field, the results can be even more impressive. He expects that the next step will be the passing the bill On the Promotion of Development of the Market of Electricity Market in Ukraine.

Okeksandr Kravtsov was among the enthusiasts who brought the first electro-car to Ukraine. photo: electrocars.ua

According to Oleksandr, if the government supports the field, the results can be even more impressive. He expects that the next step will be the passing the bill On the Promotion of Development of the Market of Electricity Market in Ukraine.

The bill foresees the following steps:

  1. Introducing a zero toll on the most expensive electric components, which will lead to cheaper production.
  2. Introducing a classification for electro-buses, electro-trucks, electric bikes, and bicycles. Simultaneously a zero toll on them will be introduced. This will help to electrify the existing transport in the process of its renewal.
  3. Setting the minimum term of depreciation for electric cars at the level of 2 years. In effect, businesses will be able to quickly reinvest funds into the purchase of electric cars.
  4. Introducing tax relief for the conversion of ordinary cars into electric ones. In result, refurbishment 0f ordinary cars into electric ones will be 20% cheaper.
  5. Introducing tax relief for purchasing electric vehicles, making the process 20% cheaper than at present.
  6. Setting zero excise duty on electric vehicles, electric trucks, electric bikes, and bicycles

Also for making electric transport, its production, and infrastructure, cheaper exemptions should be introduced for importing and supplying imported electric transport, components and elements of infrastructure for five years. The same should be done for services related to electric transport and rent which will improve the business climate in the field.

The Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan is confident that if the provisions of the bill are implemented, prices for the electro-cars in Ukraine will go down by 40%.

Kravtsov says that if the government follows the steps described in the bill, it would be enough for moving the field forward. So far, business have been the leaders of progress in the field:

“The infrastructure for electro-cars in Ukraine outstrips even its close neighbors in the EU. This is just the beginning, which was made due to the efforts of businesses (restaurants, hotels, malls, gas stations) and the first few operators of charging stations. During the last two years the number of charging stations is growing exponentially – doubling every year,” says Kravtsov.

So far Ukraine has 600 charging stations, about 25% of which are in Kyiv.

Kravtsov predicts that in a few years Ukrainians will be able to choose electro-cars as the main car of the family.

According to experts, this year is important for the industry. General Motors will produce an electro-car for the middle class ($35K) with a mileage of 400+/km. Tesla Model 3 will be produced this summer as well. Whether Ukrainians will be able to buy them or not depends on the country’s economy. So far they prefer used electro-cars from the EU and the US.

Last year, 2593 electro-cars were registered in Ukraine. In the first quarter of 2017, an additional 548 electro-cars and 219 hybrid cars have been registered.

Olena Makarenko

About the author
Olena Makarenko is a journalist at Euromaidan Press. In 2014, Olena started to work as a volunteer with public initiatives which focus on building civil society and promoting dialog between people from different regions of Ukraine.

Source: euromaidanpress.com